Well, naturally we're going to lead off with Skip's dad and his visit to Bulls camp in Vero Beach. Lou talked to the team and watched practice from a golf cart near the field. The media guys all had a chance to talk to him, and the video cameras came out too.
-- Lou started out just talking football and the Bulls in the video clip Greg Auman posted.
-- Then came some of that Lou Holtz awesomeness. In Scott Carter's video, Lou tells us about the time he was coaching at Notre Dame and they went to camp. On the last night, he rode across the lake on a rowboat to the team, then set the thing on fire.
USF Bulls Video: Lou Holtz at camp (via tbocom)
By the way, Lou, it was Hernando Cortez who burned his ships when they reached the New World. That way he and his men were properly motivated. I know this because I've seen "The Hunt for Red October" about 80 times, and it's a must-watch any time I find it on TV. I can basically quote Captain Ramius from memory on that one.
-- Some possibly very bad news on the offensive line, as Mark Popek was carted off the field with a knee injury. Popek came into fall camp as the backup to Jamar Bass at left tackle, but he's a big part of the unit's depth and experience. Skip Holtz mentioned after practice that Popek will undergo more tests to see how severe an injury it is.
-- In better injury news, Holtz also reported that Sterling Griffin's walking boot has come off and his recovery seems to be progressing well. In his post-practice interview he said he was hoping to have Griffin back by late September or October, which is around where conference play begins.
-- Also in his interview, Holtz talked about everyone hitting the wall after seven straight days and eight practices. Wednesday's practice must have been sluggish physically, but he's still happy with their mental focus and their retention of the lessons being taught. Also I think this is the first time he's outright praised an entire side of the ball - naturally with it being this early in camp, it's the defense he's pleased with.
-- Greg Auman looked back at Tuesday's practice and talked about the challenge of trying to figure out who might be standing out at certain positions based on who participates with who in certain drills.
-- So I got a little ticked at all the attention being given to Rutgers wide receiver Tim Wright, who tore up his knee in practice. They hadn't even worked their way up to practicing in pads yet and he's done for the year. It's a tough break for him, but I really wasn't in the mood to hear about WR injuries given what USF has gone through since April.
I wanted to see just how deep the problem was, and I found this rather disturbing stat. Of the eight leading pass receivers in yardage for USF last year, seven of them are either gone or injured right now. The seven are Carlton Mitchell (NFL), A.J. Love (injured), Sterling Griffin (injured), Jessie Hester (graduated), Theo Wilson (graduated), Ben Busbee (graduated), and Patrick Richardson (graduated and gave up his last year of eligibility). In fact, Dontavia Bogan is the only healthy receiver USF has who gained even 50 yards receiving last year. No, not in a game. For the entire season.
Needless to say, the sooner the Bulls can get Love and Griffin back, the better. In the meantime, they're going to need several guys to step up.
-- If you're wondering what Dodgertown looks like these days, GoUSFBulls.com has a nice video feature touring the site of training camp and talking about its history.
-- Not camp-related, but Mel Kiper has Craig Marshall as USF's most pro-ready prospect.