Amid injuries, freshman DT Hamilton gets closer look
USF coach Skip Holtz said Tuesday that a run of minor injuries had nine players from his two-deep depth chart held out of practice Tuesday, though none right now are so serious as to impact the Bulls' season opener in 12 days against Chattanooga.
"Right now, everybody is expected to be back -- it's a two-day, three-day, four-day, five-day type of thing," Holtz said. "It's a lot of bumps and bruises. I don't have any major concerns about anybody's missing time at this point. You've got to get healthy ... we've got to keep getting better."
Among the players getting a closer look as a result of those injuries is true freshman defensive tackle James "J.T." Hamilton, who enrolled in January and has gotten more reps with key players like Cory Grissom, Elkino Watson and Todd Chandler sidelined or limited. Starter Luke Sager is healthy, along with reserves Demi Thompson and Clavion Nelson, but it's possible Hamilton could be needed to play this fall.
"He's getting a lot of reps there, and I'm really impressed with what he's doing," Holtz said. "This is the opportunity for some of these young guys to step into a depth-chart role. We have to focus on getting our team together now. We can't wait until next week when everybody gets healthy and comes back. J.T. Hamilton is really doing a nice job."
Holtz also mentioned redshirt freshman offensive linemen Brynjar Gudmundsson and Max Lang as other young players who have handled themselves well in larger roles as a result of injuries.