WR Huey Whittaker finished his USF career as the Bulls' all-time leading receiver
The all-time leading receiver in University of South Florida history will get a chance to catch on with the hometown NFL team.
On Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced two new additions to their practice squad, both of whom are making homecomings of sorts: former USF wide receiver Huey Whittaker and former Stanford fullback Casey Moore.
Whittaker hails from Spring Hill, Florida and Moore is a native of St. Petersburg,
To make room on the eight-man practice squad, the team released guard/long-snapper James Broyles and running back Joe Smith. Broyles and Smith were just signed, along with the rest of the practice squad, a week ago.
Tampa Bay also announced two other administrative-type roster moves: both DT DeVone Claybrooks and DE Lamar King were released from injured reserve.
Whittaker will be familiar to Buccaneer fans who also follow USF football. He played the last three seasons for the Bulls after transferring from Hudson Valley College, appearing in 32 games with 21 starts. Whittaker eventually hauled in 117 passes for 1,447 yards and seven touchdowns, breaking the receptions and receiving yardage school records originally set by Charles Jackson.
At 6-4 and 233 pounds, Whittaker was also a force on special teams, blocking two kicks last season, including one that preserved a USF victory.
If Whittaker could advance from the practice squad to the active roster, he would become just the second player from the relatively new USF football program to play for the Buccaneers. Long-snapper Ryan Benjamin, a former Bull, played for the Buccaneers in 2002 and 2003.
Moore came into the league a year earlier than Whittaker, as a seventh-round draft pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2003. However, he fractured both of his hands during training camp and spent his first NFL season on injured reserve.
At Stanford, the 6-1, 240-pound Moore started 44 consecutive games at fullback and proved adept as a blocker, a runner and a receiver. His career statistics include 961 rushing yards, 50 catches for 513 yards and 16 total touchdowns (11 rush, five rec.). Moore also provided one of the top moments in the legendary Stanford-Cal series when, as a redshirt freshman, he sealed a Cardinal win with a 94-yard touchdown run. That stands as the second-longest run in Stanford history.
At St. Petersburg Catholic High School, Moore recorded two-year totals of 1,538 rushing yards and 37 total touchdowns.
Claybrooks and King were both signed as free agents during the offseason in 2004, though Claybrooks had two previous stints with the team, as well. Both went on injured reserve on September 1, Claybrooks due to an ankle sprain and King due to a calf injury.