Freshman Cliett moving to linebacker
Leftover note from Charlotte that I neglected to mention amid the excitement around Friday's win -- true freshman safety Reshard Cliett, who redshirted this past season, is moving to linebacker, where Skip Holtz wants to add depth at a position that lost four seniors from 2010.
Cliett, from Thomasville, Ga., came in at 6-foot-2, 196 pounds, and Holtz said Thursday that he is up to 205 pounds, with coaches hoping he can get himself up to a more linebackerish 220 by next fall. The Bulls have several commitments from recruits of a similar frame -- either big safeties or linebackers that just need to bulk up their first year on campus. Cliett, you'll remember, made a strong impression early, but it was Mark Joyce, who was picked to play as a true freshman.
Holtz said Thursday during his radio show that his ideal number for scholarship linebackers is 12, and the Bulls will have eight this spring, counting Mike Jeune and Antoine Pozniak, who are expected to join the team when spring classes start next week. Jeune will compete for the strongside linebacker job, with Sam Barrington and Mike Lanaris back at middle linebacker (one of them could feasibly change positions to allow both to be on the field more) and DeDe Lattimore back at weakside linebacker. Rising senior Curtis Weatherspoon would be the next most experienced linebacker, with special-teams ace Armando Sanchez, Cliett and fellow true freshman Hans Louis the other reserves.
We're working up a very-early depth chart entering spring drills and should have that up in next day or so, as well as a rundown of how all the former Bulls did in the NFL this season. ...
-- Two more Where Are They Now notes -- the folks at footballscoop.com are reporting that former USF offensive line coach Mike Simmonds is part of the Bulls reunion at North Texas, joining Dan McCarney, Mike Canales and strength coach Frank Wintrich with the Mean Green. Simmonds, who wasn't retained in USF's coaching change, spent one season at I-AA Indiana State, his alma mater. Nobody at North Texas is confirming yet. ... And Sheahon Zenger, who was part of Jim Leavitt's first USF staff in 1996 the year before the Bulls played their first game, has been named the athletic director at Kansas. He was in the same role at Illinois State.