Tampa Bay Tech football is on the rise. The Titans are very athletic and there’s ample size as well.
By Brian Smith @fbscout_florida
Tampa, Fla. — If you want to go watch an intriguing team this fall, check out Tampa Bay Tech. Head Coach Jayson Roberts and his staff are building a program that’s going to last. Here’s an initial look at the Titans from Thursday’s practice.
Tech will be one of the most athletically gifted teams in the Tampa area. Each position possesses a player that can make plays in space. If you read nothing else from this article, go back and read that statement again and engrain it into your memory.
Whether it’s a talented defensive end coming off the edge like 2022 defensive end prospect Keyon Clark, or an up-and-coming running back like 2024 prospect Rod Gainey, this is a team that has speed across the board.
Look for several young prospects to emerge at the skill positions, but the linebackers and defensive line also possess the quickness and speed to be quite effective as well. 2023 linebacker Ed Gwinn moved over from fullback halfway through the 2020 season, and he’s now slated to be the middle linebacker. With the playmakers and size he has along the defensive front, he’s in line for a big season.
The Offensive Weapons
The aforementioned Gainey, along with 2022 wide receiver Greg Gaines will be the players most people will be hearing about. It’s deserving. Both Gainey and Gaines will be FBS college players, and each can take a simple 5-yard pass or toss sweep and go 80-yards for the score.
Gaines could actually be the Tampa area’s best big-play threat. When adding the quickness and explosive playmaking ability of Gainey to the mix as well, it’s a tremendous duo. It does not stop there.
Here’s the difference with Tech now as compared to most years: there are several young prospects coming up that can truly run, including another “Penix” in the stable. Yes, he’s the brother of the current Indiana University quarterback. Overall, there are three or four young wide receivers that will complement Gaines quite well.
This is where it becomes really interesting. Despite losing Rutgers’ signee Henry Hughes, the defensive line should be considered the strength of the team. There’s Clark, but he’s also flanked by multiple 2023 prospects that are quite talented as well.
Tech’s coaching staff is obviously just beginning to build a rotation and find the best specific positions for each player. Most notably, there are several players capable of playing more than one defensive line position. Once the coaching finalizes which players are best suited to play specific positions, look out. This will be a really good group.
Quarterback and Offensive Line
Like most young teams, it takes more time to develop the cohesiveness necessary for a passing game to flourish. Tech has multiple quarterbacks that will compete for the starting job, and it’s too early to even begin to discuss the leader for the starting job. The players protecting the quarterback will be an asset, in time.
This is a massive group. There are several different players capable of being the alpha amongst the contingent. One player to watch out for would be 2023 prospect Seth Burke. At 6’5” and 329-pounds, he’s going to be leading the way for Gainey all next fall.
The “X” Factor
Defensive back has more than enough talent. Now, which players step up and consistently make plays? There’s 2023 FS/CB prospect Norris Davis that has offers from West Virginia and Penn State. In today’s world, however, just about every team can truly throw the ball. This group of defensive backs has a world of potential, but it needs to continually grow as a group just like it did on Thursday.
There was marked improvement from the beginning of practice through the end of practice. That’s all coaches can ask for during the fourth day of spring. If the Titans secondary continues on its path, it could be a big-time defense this fall when combined with the talented players within the front seven.
Tech is one of the most talented teams in Central Florida. It’s still a relatively young roster (watch out for the rising-junior class), but it’s extremely athletic and possesses size along the offensive and defensive lines.
Tech is a program to watch moving forward. Big things are expected from the Titans in 2021.