Notes: USF's speed, official visits, etc.

South Florida possesses tremendous speed at the skill positions, and it is something Rutgers will have to deal with when the Bulls visit on Thursday. Several players discussed that. Also, official visits vs. unofficial visits; there is a huge difference, and sometimes Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano and his staff must explain that to recruits. He talks about that, and gives an injury update.

The speed, the quickness and the pure athleticism defines South Florida, perhaps as much as the quick starts and late season swoons, and the physical gifts of the Bulls are something Rutgers players always hear about before the teams meet.

There is no exception this year, beginning with quarterback in B.J. Daniels. The Bulls also have speed at the wideout position, in the defensive backfield, at linebacker and even on the defensive line.

"I don't hang up on stuff like that,'' Rutgers right tackle Kevin Haslam said. "Otherwise, you psyche yourself out. You try to go out and play the game. You study the film, see what you have to do, and you anticipate once you're out there.''

But, the speed factor, and explosiveness, exists.

Included injured quarterback Matt Grothe, who is out for the season, the Bulls have five players with a run of at least 26 yards, and nine players with a rush of at least 12 yards.

The Bulls also have three players who have caught pass for more than 70 yards, and six players that caught a pass of 37 yards or more.

So, is it something that stands out on film to the Rutgers players?

"Absolutely,'' Rutgers linebacker Ryan D'Imperio said. "You see a lot of agile players, some people making great plays that you just saw on ESPN. They just make them one after another. It's hard to play against a team like that.''

Official vs. unofficial
Until recently, Egg Harbor Township receiver Tejay Johnson balked at the idea of taking an official visit to Rutgers because he visited the school several times unofficially.

DeMatha (Md.) Catholic safety Lorenzo Waters said he knows all he needs to about Rutgers because of an unofficial visit, and it is something others players also said in the past.

So, the Scarlet Knights staff faces the challenge of convincing a recruit an official visit is markedly different than a few hours spent on campus during an unofficial visit.

Schiano, as well as all college coaches, is prohibited by NCAA rules from speaking about individual recruits by name.

However, asked Schiano about a general recruiting philosophy on how the coaching staff impresses upon recruits the importance of taking an official visit even if the recruit has already taken an unofficial visit to Rutgers.

"It's unfortunate because somebody gives them that advice,'' Schiano said. "The reality is there's no substitute for an official visit, because we're allowed to do certain things on an official visit that we're not allowed to do on an unofficial visit, like have them live and be able to spend time with our players overnight, go to do things with them socially.''

For starters, official visits last up to 48 hours, and the school is allowed to pay for certain things, like a hotel room and entertainment.

"I think it's critical they get on an official visit,'' Schiano said. "One of the things that's tough for a place like ours. We have so many players that are within a two-, three-hour drive that they get over here a lot. They get over here for practice, they get here for junior days, but there is no substitute for an official visit.

"We work very hard to kind of counsel them that whoever's telling you that are the people who want that visit, but I'm sure they're not telling that to the local kid in their own backyard. Usually, it works itself out.

Injury update
Schiano said it doesn't appear as if offensive lineman Desmond Stapleton (ankle) will be ready for South Florida.

He also said the "bug'' going through the team only has affected a handful of players, and he is hopeful it remains that way.

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