USF Special teams/defensive ends coach Vernon Hargreaves spoke after Wednesdays practice and said there are still a few battles going on as camp winds down.
Coach Hargreaves talked about the battle at punter, which freshman Mattias Ciabatti appears to still be leading, but also gave credit to two-year starter Justin Brockhaus-Kann for continuing to work and push him.
"Well they've both done a pretty nice job this camp, I think Mattias coming out of spring was the guy," Hargreaves said. "He's done a pretty good job of holding off Brock tot this point. The numbers are close, and we want to make sure we get the right guy out there, the guy that gives us the best opportunity to win. We'll take a look at those coming up in a little while and make a decision based on that."
Ciabatti, a redshirt freshman walked-on who competed for the starting gig last season and almost earned it after only being out of high school for a few months, but the coaches didn't want his first game to be away at Notre Dame. Now he has another year of experience and coach says he enjoys playing the game and has great work ethic.
"He's a football player and he really enjoys what he does. It's more than being a kicker. I think he likes the game," Hargreaves added. "He's the kind of guy that would go down and tackle someone if he got the chance."
With the new kickoff rule that brings out touchbacks to the 25 yard line, Coach said that does affect how they approach it.
"It does a little bit. Obviously we want to put it in the end zone as much as possible," said Hargreaves. "The guy that puts it in the end zone consistently will be who we go with."
"Bonani's improved tremendously as far as kicking the ball deep, but Kloss has looked at it as this is my job to lose and I'm going to do as good of a job as I can." It's close enough that it "will go down to the wire."
With the new kickoff rule that brings out touchbacks to the 25 yard line, coach also mentioned that they might try directional kicking to the 5 yard line, try to kick it in the corner, because of The kickoffs are from the 35 this year, so if a guy can kick the ball higher but not out of bounds, that might be the ideal strategy. Coach Hargreaves said Holtz would decide what strategy they go with.
Coach Hargreaves talked about the defensive ends, signaling out Ryne Giddins, how freshman Eric Lee is in a great position to play this year and how well JUCO transfer Tevin Mims is doing.
"Eric is a guy that because he was here in the spring, it gave him a huge advantage. I think he's going to be a guy that's going to have to play for us. With Anthony Hill not being available he's going to have to be a guy that steps in."
"Tevin Mims is having a tremendous camp, Ryne Giddins certainly is having an outstanding camp as well, and we'll try to find a 4th guy between the freshmen and see which guys step up," said Hargreaves. "We may have to move a guy. We'll see how that thing plays out. Certainly waiting for JuJu to come back, and when he comes back that solidifies everything for us."Coach spoke about Edsel Caprice moving back to defensive end and how well he's doing.
"He's going to be like a specialty guy for us; he's lined up a little bit and done some rushing off the edge, and looked good doing it, and enjoys doing it. That's been a big plus for us," said Hargreaves. "That's not something we thought about this summer. When camp started we took him out there, and went like 'whoo" so it's been a pretty nice surprise."
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