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With better QB depth, Daniels may run more in '11

4

March

One of the reasons USF had quarterback B.J. Daniels running the ball so much less last season was the lack of depth behind him at quarterback, and with three scholarship passers behind him this fall, coach Skip Holtz said he would be more comfortable letting Daniels use his elusiveness more on the field.

"I definitely would feel more comfortable this year than I did last year. Last year, we put him in a glass bubble," Holtz said Thursday. "Last year, it was 'Try not to get him hit.' Unfortunately, when you're running with the ball under your arm, defenses are trying to tackle you. ... We didn't feel like we had a whole lot of backup plans going into it. One of B.J.'s strengths is his athleticism. That's one of the things that differentiates from a Bobby Eveld. There's a lot of ways to move the ball. ... B.J., athletically, I know can go out there and be more of a running quarterback. I'm not looking to make B.J. Daniels our leading ballcarrier just because we have a backup, but I certainly feel a little bit more comfortable with him running the ball this year, because of the depth that's starting to evolve there."

Daniels rushed for a team-best 772 yards as a redshirt freshman in 2009, but rushed for just 259 yards as a sophomore in Holtz's first season, with no rushes longer than 16 yards all season. With high expectations for transfers Darrell Scott and Dontae Aycock at running back, USF might have more of a traditional running game in 2011, without any additional carries from Daniels.

SLIMMING DOWN: Holtz joked that spring football is a time when all of USF's coaches -- himself included -- are trying to drop some of the weight they pick up over the course of a football season.

"Everybody's trying to drop some weight," Holtz said. "A lot of coaches are running in the weight room. You go in at lunch, and the coaches are filling up the cardio machines. During the season, you just don't have the opportunity to do it. The pro scouts come in every day. They bring donuts. So you have four dozen donuts in your office every day. You sit on your rear end and watch film.  'Pass me that jelly-filled donut. There you go.' You sit there and eat and eat and eat."

Holtz made it clear that while coaches are watching their weight, they're not measuring themselves the way players are monitored.

"It's done by scale, not body fat. I'm not going anywhere near one of those pinch machines at this point and time in my career," Holtz said.

[Last modified: Friday, March 4, 2011 1:07pm]

    

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