Catching up: More USF links and notes ...
Lots to get to from over the holiday weekend -- with only three spring practices, one scrimmage and the spring game left in football, Skip Holtz's first spring is winding down.
-- Big hire by DePaul to lure Clemson's Oliver Purnell, and the money -- reportedly more than $2-million a year -- is impressive in itself. You could argue it's a better hire than St. John's and Steve Lavin or Seton Hall and Kevin Willard.
-- After taking two of three games at Cincinnati this weekend, USF is tied for first in the Big East with a 5-1 league record. The Bulls are now 13-15 overall, and can move one step closer to .500 tonight at home against Central Florida. Interesting call by Lelo Prado, giving redshirt freshman lefty Kyle Parker his first career start against the Knights. Parker has a 2.79 ERA in seven relief appearances, and the last time USF sent a lefty against UCF, Teddy Kaufman struck out 14 in a complete-game four-hit shutout.
USF men's basketball coach Stan Heath, by the way, is throwing out the first pitch tonight against UCF.
-- USF coach Skip Holtz talked with 1010 AM's J.P. Peterson on Monday afternoon, and you can listen to the segment here. (Thanks to the folks at thebullspen.com for the find.) Holtz joked that accident reports are way up since his "Holtz New Era" billboards starting popping up around town. Here's audio from a Stan Heath interview with Ryan Boyd on 1490 AM in Bradenton last week.
-- Yes, former USF running back Mike Ford turned himself to police again Monday, spending two hours in jail after turning himself in on an outstanding warrant relating to his December arrest for driving without a valid license. Ford was cited three times last fall for driving without a valid license, and had the warrant issued last month. Still no word on what he'll do this fall ...
-- Former USF graduate assistant Jared Davis has been named head coach at his alma mater, Countryside High in Clearwater, according to the Times' Bob Putnam.
-- Draft notes -- the Dayton Daily News reports that the Browns are interested in USF receiver Carlton Mitchell. Interesting to read that they identify him as being "projected as a late first-round to early second-round pick" -- certainly the highest I've seen him mentioned yet, but his stock continues to rise after a good Pro Day showing last week.
-- Mock drafts! Scout.com has a "Mock Draft Muncher" that crunches the results of 29 mock drafts -- to no surprise, the most common projection for USF's Jason Pierre-Paul is going 16th to the Titans. And I've found a few more seven-round mocks -- NFLdraft101.com has Pierre-Paul 15th, Nate Allen in the late second, George Selvie and Jerome Murphy third and Mitchell in the fifth. Bigcatcountry.com also mocks out all seven rounds.
-- Former USF reciever Huey Whittaker had a strong debut with the Arena Football League's Spokane Shock this weekend, catching four touchdowns as part of a 12-catch, 102-yard game. Whittaker is tied for second in the league in touchdowns ... Two more Bulls on the Orlando Predators' roster in quarterback Glen Gauntt and offensive lineman Ryan Schmidt.
-- Starting to catch up on former Bulls in minor-league baseball. Did you see that former USF catcher Devin Ivany had three spring training at-bats with the Nationals? He went hitless, but is reporting to the Class-AAA Syracuse Chiefs, an impressive leap from playing Class-A ball last season. He's played parts of two seasons at Class-AA, in 2007 and 2008.