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Daniels’ progress big on multiple fronts

Posted Aug 31, 2011 by Adam Adkins

Updated Aug 31, 2011 at 11:43 AM

University of South Florida quarterback B.J. Daniels received his fair share of criticism during an up-and-down 2010 season.

Unjustly served? Hardly, Bulls coach Skip Holtz says.

Finishing a season throwing more interceptions than touchdown passes, as Daniels did, won’t prompt much praise. A year that includes a seemingly equal share of great plays and head-scratchers will throw some more fuel on the fire.

“But at the same time, I think how he responded to that (criticism) has been impressive to watch,” Holtz said. “The way he turned and came back and finished the year with the bowl game and the way he rolled that into the spring and summer and the way he’s playing right now in camp, I’m excited about the progress he’s made.”

That word — progress — is a regular out of the mouths of USF coaches and players alike when talking about Daniels, a redshirt junior now entering his third year as the Bulls’ starter under center. And it’s a word used in multiple areas: knowledge of the offense, development as a quarterback, maturity, leadership and confidence.

After a promising freshman season that included an upset win over Florida State in his hometown of Tallahassee in his first collegiate start, Daniels seemed to suffer a sophomore slump.

He completed 58.4 percent of his passes in 2010, but threw 13 interceptions to go with 11 TDs and averaged just 140.4 yards per game through the air.

Daniels threw for 1,685 yards, which ranked 92nd nationally.

Then, he went 20-of-27 for 189 yards with two touchdowns and ran for another score in USF’s Meineke Car Care Bowl win against Clemson to earn MVP honors and restore some much-needed confidence.

By all accounts, Daniels is a much different — and much improved — player entering the 2011 season, which begins with Saturday’s season opener at No. 16 Notre Dame.

“He is leaps and bounds better than he was a year ago,” Holtz said.

You can read the rest of the story, which appeared in Wednesday’s Tampa Tribune, HERE.

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