| 9 years ago||
It's hard to imagine that the deck could be more stacked against Alton Voss.
Matt Grothe is entering his third year as a starter with aspirations that don't end at all-conference recognition. Grant Gregory proved to be a reliable backup last season and just happens to be the son of the team's offensive coordinator. And expected on campus in a few months is a hotshot youngster named B.J. Daniels, who many are already penciling in as Grothe's natural heir apparent.
Alton Voss is eager to prove that he has a future at QB for the Bulls.
Add in the fact that Voss missed the bulk of his possible practice time in 2007 with a broken thumb and it would seem that the redshirt freshman has a better chance at winning the Florida lottery than any pla
ying time at quarterback for the Bulls in the near future.
But someone forgot to tell Voss.
"I have a great opportunity. Like the coaches said the first day in the team meeting, everybody has an opportunity to start. I have the same chance as everybody else, so I just have to make the best of it," he said. "Coach (Greg) Gregory has stressed that this isn't a continuation of last season, this is a whole new start."
Even with the long odds, you have to believe that there is at least some reason – and precedent – for Voss' optimism. Although realistically Grothe is nearly untouchable, the backup spot should be in play, and Head Coach Jim Leavitt said following Monday's practice that Voss and Gregory would both get plenty of opportunities to state their cases over the next few weeks.
As for Daniels being a no-brainer to take the reins from Grothe in 2010 – you need look no further than Grothe's path to starter, which saw him eclipse prematurely anointed super-recruit Carlton Hill. Still, Leavitt went so far as to admit that he had no plans to redshirt Daniels in 2008 and, "we're expecting a lot out of him."
Voss remains unfazed, however, and said that his attitude this spring is to just let it all hang out.
"That's exactly what I'm doing. I just want to show the coaches everything that I have. If they like you, they like you. If they don't, they don't and then you look for a different option. But I'm just going to do everything I can to show them what I can do as a quarterback," he said.
Voss made his first strides during the practices leading up to USF's Sun Bowl appearance last December. Several of his teammates said that Voss was very impressive during the annual "Bull Bowls," which give the young scout team players a chance to perform in game situations.
That probably said a lot for Voss' natural athletic ability, given that he saw little practice time all year with his broken thumb in a cast early on. He has had a history of overcoming injury, with knee and elbow surgeries already on his health chart.
"I've dealt with being hurt before, but it was really tough because it was my first year and I had to sit out and just watch. I did the best I could when I came back. That's all that really matters," he said.
"Even though I wasn't out there, I got a good feel for how things go – practices, meetings, game days. Your first year as a freshman, you have to spend a lot of time just getting used to the college life. Schoolwork is definitely different from high school and the professors don't care what you're doing in football or other classes. They just want to know what you can do in their class. Things can pile up on you. It's just a matter of how you organize your time."
As for the football end, Voss is clearly using Grothe's aforementioned path as personal motivation to reach for his own goals.
"Watching him just makes me step my game up," he said. "We all know he's one on the team who's had to strive to get where he's at. It just makes me work as hard as I can to do my best."
And his goals for spring 2008?
"I'm just focused on learning the offense, reading my coverages . . . all the basics. With the proven guys we have on offense, they can pick you up when you make a mistake because of their experience. It makes you feel good when you're in there. I'm just going to try to get the ball to the playmakers who can put points on the board," he said.
I like voss's game... Daniels and Voss should be a good competition for starting spot in a couple years