All-American hurdler Aristil joins Bulls as receiver
TAMPA -- USF football has added a burst of proven speed at wide receiver, as David Aristil, a three-time All-American for the Bulls in the 400-meter hurdles, has joined the team in his final year of college eligibility.
Aristil, fast enough to compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials in Oregon this summer, joined the Bulls in Vero Beach and has impressed coaches, especially considering he hasn't played football since his high school days in Boynton Beach, where he lettered two years at Park Vista High.
"He's had a wonderful, amazing career in track. I wish I would have had him a little earlier -- first year instead of fifth year," receivers coach Jerome Pathon said. "I think if we had him earlier, he'd have been able to pick up on the techniques. There's so much more that goes into football than just running with speed. But he's aggressive, gets involved. There's actually no one on the field who will outwork him."
Aristil, who Pathon said was 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, finished his track eligibility this spring, but has eligiblity in other sports for a fifth year, so he joined the team in Vero Beach and was introduced to the team by Skip Holtz this week. His speed translates well to the football field -- Pathon said his 40-yard time would be in the "low 4.3s" -- so the challenge for coaches is finding ways to prepare him for a limited (but dangerous) role in the offense.
"He's very explosive. When you watch him drive off the ball, he starts covering ground really quick. He's quite an addition to this team," Pathon said. "It's a matter of finding a role for him to play. He is athletic enough, he has the speed enough. It's how do we teach him in the next week to be ready? Learning plays, learning technique, there are guys I've been working with for eight months that still aren't quite where I need them to be. It's a lot of pick up. I think we're going to work with him. With his speed, he's a great asset for us."
INJURY UPDATE: True freshman linebacker Tashon Whitehurst, mentioned by Holtz as a possibility to play immediately this fall, was on crutches at USF's Fan Fest on Sunday afternoon with a boot on his left foot. Holtz said he was waiting on X-rays to know the severity of the injury, which could be as little as a week out with a mild sprain or six weeks with a break.