St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
tampabay.com

printer version

Silence isn't golden for DTs

Tavares Jurineack and Greg Walls can be loud with their play on the field and words off it.

By PETE YOUNG, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 6, 2002


TAMPA -- A lot of noise accompanies Greg Walls and Tavares Jurineack. Most of it from their mouths.

South Florida's menacing tandem of senior defensive tackles has a lot to say almost all of the time about many things.

Jurineack is the entertainer. He conjures impromptu, comedy-laced freestyle raps on a whim, delivering rhymes and verses about whatever is happening at the moment.

"He's real good, and he's funny," Walls said. "We'll come in from a hard day of practice, and he'll rap about how hot it is, how the coaches are on us, how it feels good to go home. He basically can rap about anything, whatever's going on."

"I'm his roommate, and he raps all the time," defensive end Chris Daley said. "He's pretty good, but sometimes, I have to tell him to shut up."

Walls, nicknamed "Baby Sapp," is boisterous like the Bucs' Warren Sapp but not as corrosive. He is Sapp Lite.

"Greg is the loudest guy in the group. He stands out the most," Jurineack said. "He's a real jokester. He's the comedy guy, always saying something."

"I've got a loud voice, I guess," Walls said. "I've been loud all my life."

Together, Jurineack and Walls have put silence into retirement and rendered peace and quiet heavy underdogs.

They put opposing teams in a similar position. Walls and Jurineack aren't all rhetoric. They can play, too.

Last season, Walls (6 feet 2, 288 pounds) had 67 tackles, a team-best 16 tackles for loss and 51/2 sacks. Jurineack (6-2, 290) had 52 tackles, 10 for loss.

"(USF was) second in the nation in sacks last year (with 3.64 per game)," Walls said. "We want people to know that wasn't a fluke, that we're for real."

In a 51-10 season-opening victory over Florida Atlantic Aug. 29, Walls had three tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble. Jurineack had two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Jurineack, who usually lines up at nose tackle, can bench press 485 pounds. With a thick midsection, he's hard to dislodge. And he gets faster every year, recently running a sub-5.0 second 40 yards.

"He's a very, very tough kid, and he's very strong," defensive line coach Earl Lane said. "He's one of the nicest, most fun-loving kids off the field, but he knows how to turn the switch."

Walls has a knack for timing the snap and exploding into the backfield. He typically lines up at 3-technique, a position just to the side of the nose tackle, but his upper-body strength has improved so much that he and Jurineack are interchangeable.

"Greg's got a great first step," Lane said. "He has the quickness, and he's become a student of the game. They're both smart football players."

Jurineack's musical comedy routine belies a seriousness cultivated through adversity. He sat out his first season because of an insufficient test score, and he missed the next after a car crash. Jurineack fell asleep at the wheel during the summer of 1999 and awoke with a chipped hip bone, two severely injured knees and his tongue stapled together.

"I thank the Lord every day that I have this opportunity," he said.

Walls arrived that fall from Sarasota Booker High and has been a regular in the lineup since. He has led USF in tackles for loss the past two seasons.

"They're very good leaders for us," USF coach Jim Leavitt said. "They're a lot of fun to coach, a pleasure to be around."

Walls and Jurineack are impact players, but they didn't start last season that way. The Bulls lost the season opener 20-17 at Northern Illinois.

And NIU's rally from a 17-7 deficit was fueled by hard running by Thomas Hammock into the teeth of the defense, Walls and Jurineack.

"It was the first game of the season, and we just didn't know what we had yet," Walls said.

Since then, the interior defense has inflicted the damage. During the next game, a 35-26 victory at Pittsburgh, Walls repeatedly ripped into the backfield and recorded three sacks.

A shot at redemption awaits Saturday, when USF hosts NIU.

"In the critical moments of the game last year, we just didn't get it done," Walls said. "We have high goals this year, and I know we're ready."

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright
 

From the Times sports desk

U.S. Open Tennis
  • Sampras whips the kid
  • First Hewitt-Agassi match was a stunner
  • Davenport and Mauresmo up against Williams wall

  • On the Net
  • Tennis sites top NFL in searches

  • Colleges
  • 'Canes' DBs face big test
  • State practice reports
  • Silence isn't golden for DTs
  • Loss leads to better days
  • Beavers cruise to victory
  • Around the Nation

  • Baseball
  • AL: A-Rod reaches 50 HRs in rout
  • NL: Four-run first helps Schilling get 22nd win
  • Baseball notebook
  • Streak is nice, but A's want division

  • Motorsports
  • Stewart nips Harvick for rare Truck victory

  • NFL
  • 49ers win season opener
  • Around the NFC
  • Around the AFC

  • Sports on TV, Radio
  • Fox trio of announcers paving way to top spot

  • Preps
  • Mitchell promotes JV coach
  • Bears open with victory
  • New Chiefs, same dreams
  • Why run when they can fly?

  • Etc.
  • In brief
  • UT ready to honor its best

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report

  • NFL Football preview 2002
  • Light up the cannons and hold your ears
  • Gimme Five
  • Gruden's path littered with historic hurdles
  • League site gives fans what they want
  • Bucs by the numbers
  • Kiffin's in charge of the defense, as always
  • Bucs Q&A
  • What to bring and what to leave home
  • Dilger site knocked off-line by Sept. 11
  • NFL Q&A
  • New rules
  • NFC South capsules
  • Confidence still strong despite loss of talent
  • Saints notebook
  • Bucs coaches
  • Falcons Notebook
  • So fast, they're scary
  • Buccaneers defensive capsules
  • Buccaneers offensive capsules
  • The Florida Keys
  • 'I am making a guarantee'
  • Staff predictions
  • Buccaneers at a glance
  • Bucs: High Hopes
  • Coaching changes
  • On the road with the Bucs
  • Team by team breakdown
  • Dolphins: For the fans
  • No more excuses for Miami
  • New NFL stadiums
  • Jacksonville looking dim without its stars
  • Jaguars: For the fans
  • NFL: By the numbers
  • What they're saying about the Bucs
  • What they're saying about the Dolphins
  • What they're saying about the Dolphins
  • What's past is past for Panthers, unless you hang on for motivation
  • Panthers: Special teams must keep scoring points

  • Prep football preview 2002
  • 4A-6 DISTRICT PREVIEW: Defending champ faces tough road
  • Losing season doesn't sit well with Hawks
  • Team's continued rise depends on cohesion
  • Graduation forces Spongers to ''reload''
  • Barons look forward to tough schedule
  • New-look Warhawks boast lofty goals
  • New Pats coach plans plenty of changes
  • Devils welcome fresh cast of characters
  • 'Canes in playoffs? Not that far-fetched
  • Explosive Felton to carry Warriors' load
  • Small Mustangs must rely on experience
  • Harris looks to measure up in win column
  • Packers boast new weapon at quarterback
  • Loaded Spartans have talent to dominate
  • Crusaders hope to make success a habit
  • Numbers to give Eagles breathing room
  • Gladiators trying to stay more grounded
  • Eagles likely to finally get off the ground
  • Seniors have Falcons thinking playoffs
  • Rebels pinning hopes on healthy veterans
  • Cougars must surmount rugged district
  • Healthy Marauders pose playoff threat
  • Nucleus has Tornadoes primed to rebound
  • Pirates hope confidence is the difference
  • New coach looking to stretch the field
  • Big dreams without big heads
  • You've come a long way baby!
  • The small things come first for county's newest teams
  • Hillsborough distric outlook
  • From the editor:
  • Team's character, offense are focus
  • West Preview: Could this be the season the west finally fights back?
  • Veteran leadership strength of Cougars
  • This Cowboys coach promises to stay put
  • Don't be surprised by Indians this time
  • It's now or never for the Dragons
  • Potential for title run has Lions' attention
  • One loss motivates Tigers to improve
  • Leto's new offense, season hold promise
  • Reaves ready to put Panthers in spotlight
  • Rebuilding Raiders must grow up fast
  • It's Hicks' turn to carry load for Knights
  • New-look Titans plan to pass first
  • Too many veterans not to be optimistic
  • Crusaders continue rebuilding project
  • Wildcats begin to whisper about playoffs
  • Last season's woes strengthen Eagles
  • Ravens' growth will determine success
  • Last season's stars are tough to replace
  • Bucs want early wins then trip to playoffs
  • Nine-game skid shakes team's foundation
  • Bulls out to end trend of one-win seasons
  • Depth in trenches crucial for Eagles
  • Pasco County: For the fans
  • Playoff losses big motivation for Gators
  • The word little's a big deal for Mustangs
  • If Pirates can remain healthy, watch out
  • This season's schedule bound to have more surprises
  • New coach, offense give Rams new hope
  • Juniors out to resurrect Knights' success
  • Wildcats prepare for tougher challenges
  • Bulldogs are lacking in numbers, as usual
  • 10 Games to Watch: A week-by-week county primer
  • 10 Questions: Setting the record straight for 2002 ... sort of
  • Gators begin making big waves
  • National Signing Day will be a big deal this time around
  • Bucs sport a new look called the Spread-I
  • Conference race has new meaning
  • Offense has promise, defense a concern
  • Weightman to test reloading Hudson
  • New Bears coach is all about approach
  • Hernando: For the Fans
  • On the Net
  • Castillo, Leopards ready to break into open
  • Eagles to take field with winning feeling
  • Hernando County's college players to watch
  • Eagles in for rocky start, strong finish
  • Springstead ready to push Central
  • Scheme stays same but faces change
  • Panthers standout isn't very hard to find on field
  • Pirates bent on dismissing doubters, foes
  • Panthers have tasted success, want more
  • Buoyed by experience, athleticism
  • Tigers have playoff potential if they unite
  • A whole new offensive ballgame
  • Citrus County football from A to Z

  • Rays
  • Rays, Kennedy get swept away
  • Naimoli says deal should help sport
  • Nash to get out of jail
  • Up next: Rangers

  • Bucs
  • Productive Saints QB still looking for respect
  • Lightning forces players into garage


  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts