I'm going to do a Warp Speed USF Football Preview next week and cover the whole team in three or four days. Last year I started going position-by-position on the SB Nation Tampa Bay site in early July, which was too far out. I decided to wait until now to start working on it this year so there wouldn't be very much guessing. Also, I'm kind of lazy.
Until then, here are some updates from the last several days of fall practice:
-- Today is the last scrimmage before the season and Skip Holtz wants it to look and feel like a real game. After today, the team will take most of the weekend off before starting to prepare for Chattanooga.
-- We saw on the last depth chart that Darrell Williams had moved in as the starting left tackle and Mark Popek had slid over to left guard to make room for him. After playing as a somewhat undersized true freshman last year, Williams has reached 290 pounds. Greg Auman talked to offensive line coach Steve Shankweiler and offensive coordinator Todd Fitch about Williams and how they decided to take a chance on him when he only weighed 247.
-- Greg also tweeted out a few veteran players on offense who might be candidates to redshirt because of the depth on that side of the ball. Tye Turner, who played as a true freshman at tight end and fullback, isn't too much of a surprise. Neither is JUCO running back Mike Pierre. Although it seemed like he might be vital earlier in the summer, he's really the only redshirt candidate at that position because everyone else has taken one already. The potential for Bobby Eveld to redshirt if he's the #3 quarterback during the season... that was something I didn't expect.
Collin and I were talking about why you would redshirt Eveld now, when he may not make it above QB3 on the depth chart during the rest of his Bulls career, barring injury. The best reason we came up with is that it would be a hedge against the staff not being able to get a second quarterback to sign with USF, now that Asiantii Woulard is a Rivals100 prospect. We've been over this before, and maybe redshirting Eveld to save one of his years of eligibility is a backup plan in case they can't get another prospect who would be good enough to play at this level. Plus it couldn't hurt to have someone around who's played in a few games and worked in the same offense for 4-5 years to help Woulard (or Matt Floyd) get acclimated to starting. He could be like the Steve DeBerg of USF, the mentor on the sidelines who seems like he's been here forever.
-- WIth a run of minor injuries along the defensive line, true freshman defensive tackle James Hamilton has seen more action in practice recently. Hamilton enrolled in January and went through spring practice, but his primary selling point right now may be that he weighs 324 pounds and can occupy blockers. Then again, we've been made to look like fools before guessing whether freshmen would play or not.
-- David Aristil, a three-time All-American in track and field at USF, was recruited to join the football team as a walk-on. He has some high school football experience, and obviously lots of speed. I don't know what they would do with him on the field, though. Returning kicks? Simulating players on other teams? Aristil's track eligibility is over, so the coaches don't have to worry about making sure he's ready to return to the 400-meter hurdles.
-- Andre Davis was arguably USF's most impactful freshman last year. Andrea Adelson from the ESPN Big East blog has a feature on him.
-- Also Andrea has been counting down the top 25 players in the Big East. DeDe Lattimore came in at #13, and Ryne Giddins was #11. It will be interesting to see if B.J. Daniels is one of the top 10 players in the league. Probably depends on whether the rankings are based on performance, ability, or potential.
-- One other link from ESPN.com -- Matt Fortuna lists three reasons why USF might win the Big East, and three reasons why they might not.