USF Bull's Football Team Report: 5/17

Even though the season ended with three straight losses, the first year in the Big East produced a bowl trip for South Florida -- capping the first 10 years of Jim Leavitt putting this program on the college football map.

Now, the Bulls have to produce an encore. It might not be that easy.

With Andre Hall, the school's all-time leading rusher, gone and with the quarterback situation still unsettled, Leavitt's Bulls will enter the 2006 hoping to build confidence off a shaky early schedule.

The schedule, however, ends with road games at Louisville and West Virginia.

Will the Bulls be in the bowl hunt by then?

If Leavitt finds a real answer to his QB question, they just might be. He went into spring camp with Carlton Hill as his starting quarterback. But after Hill missed about half of camp to concentrate on academics, Leavitt left camp leaning toward senior Pat Julmiste.

"I think it's really competitive," the coach said. "You'd probably go with Pat because he has the most experience. You just feel confident he can go out there and lead a team."

But Leavitt makes it clear the summer workouts and fall practices could lead to another change. It appears to be a fluid situation.

The Bulls were 6-5 when they dropped the Car Care Bowl to North Carolina State in Charlotte last year. Despite the loss, this was the highlight for Leavitt, who has a 61-39 record at the school. Now we'll see what's next.

Notes and Quotes:

--Five members of last year's South Florida team were heading to NFL camps as free agents. RB Andre Hall will be going to Tampa Bay after suffering the disappointment of not getting drafted ("I am absolutely shocked," said USF coach Jim Leavitt). The others going to camps are DE Tim Jones (Tampa Bay), DE Jon Simmons (Giants), OG Frank Davis (Detroit) and DE Terrence Royal (Tampa). Long snapper Justin Daniel, who graduated in '04, is going to camp with Detroit.

--The White beat the Green, 36-10, in the annual spring game as Matt Grothe, one of the three names in the quarterback picture, was 11-for-19 for 167 yards, a TD and two interceptions.

--USF opens its season with home games against McNeese State and Florida International and then visits Central Florida and Kansas. There's also a non-league game at North Carolina.


LB Stephen Nicholas -- The strength of this team's defense is at this position, and Nicholas is one of the two senior leaders.

LB Patrick St. Louis -- Are the Rams waiting to take this guy?

QUOTE TO NOTE: "The summer is going to be big. I'm not going to tell you that Matt (Grothe) or Carlton (Hill) can't get in the hunt because you saw what they did (in the spring game)." -- Coach Jim Leavitt after saying he's leaning toward senior Pat Julmiste as his starting quarterback

Strategy and Personnel:

DE Josh Julmiste -- The younger brother of QB Pat had a strong spring.

CB Mike Jenkins -- He picked off two passes in the spring game.

CB Jerome Murphy -- The redshirt freshman also had two picks in the spring contest.

WR Amp Hill -- Our favorite name, the LSU transfer caught eight passes for 87 yards in the spring game. "Amp is a (6-3) target you can't miss," says QB Matt Grothe.

S Danny Verpaele -- After missing last season with a broken foot, the '04 freshman All-American is back.

ROSTER REPORT: QB Carlton Hill missed about half of the spring workouts to concentrate on academics and appears to have cost himself the starting job. WR Johnny Peyton left school. - Get it First, Get it Fast!

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