More Notes from Monday's Practice

After the Bulls first regular season practice USF Head Coach Jim Leavitt talked about the status of the injured, the running backs depth, what youngsters may see the field, the teams progess so far, the special teams unit and more.

Infirmary getting less crowded


Bulls quarter back Matt Grothe, who's been limited with a sore hamstring was back at practice, and good enough to run the Wofford triple option, but isn't back 100 percent. "I wouldn't say 100," said Leavitt. I would probably say 90 percent.  He is not that bad. He can go."


The o-line got a boost when offensive lineman Jake Sims, who has been limited with a neck strain, returned to full practice today "Sims went today full,' said Leavitt. "It's going to take Sims a while to get back in there now, but we have a lot of confidence in him. He has played a lot of football already."


The tight end group seems to be getting healthier, with Leavitt saying that Kenneth Luberice (Hip) was back and that Andrew Ketchel (Shoulder) went full today.  Leavitt also said that Andreas Shields (ankle) was at practice but limited "He's jogging today that's all," and Freshman Isaac Virgin (knee) "He moved around a today a little bit, but he's not 100 percent yet."


Coach also said that redshirt freshman John Lejiste (groin) was back practicing as well.


The next guys steps up


With Jamar Taylor out and Mike Ford to miss the first two games, Leavitt said that three guys have kind of separated themselves a little bit, Moise Plancher, Aston Samuels, and Lindsey Lamar. "Those three guys are pretty interchangeable. They all have good speed and good balance," said Leavitt. "They can find the opening and go. They all are very good running backs."  Leavitt also said that they've been using Richard Kelly "in so many different ways." He also singled out Redshirt freshman Demetris Murray saying he really thought Murray showed up pretty good for the first time in the last scrimmage. "He really had a pretty good scrimmage. Enough to where I would start trusting him as far as getting in there in the rotation and doing some things." Adding, "That's it as far as that goes. We don't have anybody else that is ready."


How much will the young gun slinger play?


"We got to play BJ. He is just done too good and worked too hard," said Leavitt. We need him to play.  I feel like BJ has such special qualities. We need to get him out there and play so we can see what he can do. BJ is going to play. I am just telling you that. He is going to play." Leavitt also said that all three quarterbacks are going to play this year. "How much, when, and how we are going to work it all out we don't know yet." Leavitt also pointed out that BJ has probably gotten more reps then Matt has this whole camp, quite a few more, and so has Landi. "We are getting those guys ready. We really want to use all three. Evan more at receiver, but Evan is an awfully good quarterback as well."



Pierre –Paul coming along


JUCO transfer Jason Pierre-Paul had his second day of practice in shoulder pads and will be able to go full pads tomorrow. But Coach doesn't expect him to be fully ready for the opener "No I don't. I expect him to maybe play a little bit," said Leavitt. "For a guy to come in here right now and us expect him in two weeks to learn our defense, know how we work, to do all the things we do after not being here all summer to be ready for the first game. No. He might be ready for the fourth or fifth to get in that kind of shape. That would be unrealistic to think he would be ready that fast." But when asked if he thought he expects him to play this year, coach responded "It's too early to tell. Do I? Yeah I do, but how much we will have to wait and see," said Leavitt "It's kind of on him. He has to get in shape, and that is going to take a while. Coach also said that he has a lot of talent. "How great of a football player will he be? That, we will have to wait and see."


Will any of the young defensive ends play?


Coach wasn't too sure on if the young freshmen Ryne Giddins and Julius Forte will play this year either "It's hard to say. It's really hard to say," said Leavitt. "Giddens shows some really good things at times, but he is young. Forte is the same thing. They are all very good players." Coach than said how hard it is to get a guy ready that hadn't been in there in spring or summer. "That's tough." said Leavitt. "Who are you going to bump out of there? Aaron Harris has been playing for three years. Craig Marshall who has played a lot of football, and (David) Bedford has played a lot of football."



How far the team has progressed


With less than two weeks too the season opener against Wofford Leavitt thinks that the team has done some really good things. "They are trying and they are working hard. We are not ready to play today."  Leavitt also added it depends on how well we do these next two weeks. To be ready for Wofford that's like I said very difficult preparation for this team." Leavitt also said that some guys are really ready to play. ‘No question if you go right now, they are going to play. Other guys are still feeling their way through all of this." With the start of school today Coach says he gets concerned about the young guys that are going to be in the starting lineup. "They got to be able to handle all of these things. Those are the guys I am not sure about yet. They have to be ready to play on this level this kind of football. That is a different deal right now."


 Leavitt also reminded everyone that they lost 22 seniors. "You can't ignore that and nobody has," said Leavitt. "That is a lot of guys who played a lot of football. He then listed Marc Dile, Ryan Schmidt, Tyrone McKenzie, Jarriett Buie, and a bunch of other former seniors. "I am not saying we are not talented because we are. We just lost a lot of guys who have been through a lot of things. How is it going to mesh? I don't know. We will have to wait and see how they do." 


Not worried about Delbert


Leavitt said that Delbert Alvarado has been good. "He has had a couple days where I could have choked him, but 90 percent of the time I think he has done well," said Leavitt. Saying he kicked real well today, really good in the scrimmage, always punts extremely well, and that he kicked off the other day and just boomed them. "I am not as worried about Delbert. If he makes or misses it, I know he can come back and kick." Leavitt said it's your next guy that he's more concerned with. "Getting Brockhaus-Kann ready for punting because he has a strong leg, but we are really trying to spend some time with him and getting Schwartz ready to kick. That is more what I am thinking about. The depth in case they have to go in and kick." 



Faces in the crowd

Attending the Bulls first regular season practice were several former Bulls. Offensive linemen Ryan Schmidt and Marc Dile took time off from the Tampa Bay Buccaneer practice to visit the team as they prepared for the season opener. As did former Bulls defensive tackle Richard Clebert.  Also watching was USF alumni and booster Jeff Wagner who promoted the Finish Strong mantra with USF football and has been an inspirational and motivational leader in his fight to beat leukemia and Finish Strong.

Corresponant Tyler frazier contributed to this report

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