Depth-chart surprises: Eatmon, Veron first-string
There's a steady rain here Wednesday afternoon as USF tries to pack in as much practice as possible, with just one more scheduled practice before Saturday's spring game at Raymond James Stadium. The Bulls did release their first new depth chart of the spring, with a few interesting wrinkles in key position battles. First some notes, then the depth chart itself ...
-- Redshirt freshman quarterback Jamius Gunsby was not at Wednesday's practice in the first half-hour, which raises the question as to whether his injured toe is bad enough to keep him out of Saturday's game. If it does, it's a break for freshman Matt Floyd, who is competing with Gunsby for the No. 3 quarterback spot this fall. Remember, Gunsby fell behind Bobby Eveld last fall because of an injury, so it could be an opportunity for Floyd to make up for Gunsby's six-month head start.
-- Biggest news from the depth chart? Redshirt freshman Quinterrius Eatmon is the starting right tackle, which is no surprise after Skip Holtz's high praise of him after Saturday's scrimmage. Another redshirt freshman, Chris Veron, has jumped ahead of incumbent Justin Brockhaus-Kann for the starting punter job, though the battle is likely to continue well into August.
-- Two different stories for the receivers returning from injuries that cost them all of last season. Sterling Griffin is now listed as a starting receiver, but A.J. Love, preparing for a sixth year, has enough concern in his surgically repaired knee that he isn't listed on the depth chart.
-- Depth at cornerback is enough of a problem that walk-on Ernie Tabuteau, the transfer from Miles College, is listed as a second-strong corner, ahead of Tyson Butler (injured), Ricardo Dixon (recovering from injury) and Spencer Boyd (newly converted from receiver).
-- Walk-on Ryan Eppes is starting to get work at receiver, what with six quarterbacks splitting reps when everyone's healthy. Eppes isn't likely to get on the field at receiver, but it could help him stay on the roster if Holtz adds a preferred walk-on quarterback for the fall to go with his four returning scholarship quarterbacks. Eppes, you might remember, ran the hurdles in high school, so there's some athleticism there to work with.
Here's your depth chart:
SE: Sterling Griffin, Deonte Welch
LT: Mark Popek, Darren Powe
LG: Jeremiah Warren, John McGhin
C: Kevin McCaskill, Austin Reiter
RG: Chaz Hine, Danous Estenor
RT: Quinterrius Eatmon, Damien Edwards
TE: Andreas Shields, Isaac Virgin
FL: Evan Landi, Terrence Mitchell/Derrick Hopkins
QB: B.J. Daniels, Bobby Eveld
RB: Demetris Murray, Darrell Scott
FB: Armando Sanchez, Chase Griffiths
SL: Joel Miller, Victor Marc/Faron Hornes
LE: Ryne Giddins, Claude Davis
NT: Cory Grissom, Luke Sager/Todd Chandler
DT: Keith McCaskill, Demi Thompson/Anthony Hill
RE: Patrick Hampton, Julius Forte
SLB: Sam Barrington, Reshard Cliett/Mike Jeune
MLB: Mike Lanaris, Sam Barrington
WLB: DeDe Lattimore, Curtis Weatherspoon
LC: Kayvon Webster, Ernie Tabuteau
SS: Jon Lejiste, JaQuez Jenkins
FS: Jerrell Young, Mark Joyce
RC: Quenton Washington, George Baker
P: Chris Veron, Justin Brockhaus-Kann
PK: Maikon Bonani, Marvin Kloss
LS: Mike Walsh, Corey Schomp