Zach Hermann and Leslie Stirrups Leave the Football Team. Only One By Choice. (Sort Of.)

Zach Hermann in 2007.

Two players left the USF football team today:

Zach Hermann has decided that with a bulging disk in his neck, he doesn't want to risk serious injury and is leaving the team, which completely sucks. Hermann started 26 games over the last three years at right guard, but suffered the neck injury against West Virginia and never fully recovered. (Hermann was at practice on Monday, and I guess he gave it a shot but decided not to take the chance by continuing to play.) He was named All-BIG EAST third team by the great Phil Steele last year, and The Sporting News named him an honorable mention Freshman All-American in 2007, when he started all 13 games. The offensive line still has a good amount of experience left over, but they'll definitely miss Hermann. Hopefully he will hang around the sidelines this fall to help out his teammates.

On the other hand, Leslie Stirrups didn't make much of an impact on the field, and he was dismissed because of a violation of team rules. A four-star recruit out of high school, Stirrups has had a checkered history. He failed to qualify academically, was arrested and later acquitted on several felony burglary charges, went to two junior colleges in Mississippi, and finally made his way into the defensive tackle rotation last year. He only had nine tackles and was working with the third-string defense after Skip Holtz's depth chart came out. There are still several quality defensive tackles in the rotation, plus Kyle Chandler coming in this fall, so like with Mike Ford, it seems like it might be a case of someone being expendable and screwing up anyway. It wouldn't be a surprise if there was another player that leaves under similar circumstances at some point. (No, I don't have inside information, just thinking out loud.)

"We are all accountable for the good/bad decisions we make in academics, football and socially." - Skip Holtz commenting on Stirrups' dismissal

Best of luck to both Hermann and Stirrups in their future endeavors.

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