Freshman RB Battles moves to defensive back
USF continues to evaluate the best position for its incoming freshmen, and Monday's practice saw another tweak as running back Bradley Battles started working at safety after spending his first four practices on offense.
He's the second freshman to change positions in as many days, following Isaac Virgin's shift from quarterback to tight end. USF returns a ton of experienced running backs and only Moise Plancher is a senior, so the move to safety logically gives Battles a better chance of getting on the field in 2010 as a redshirt freshman.
-- The Bulls continue to try new looks on the offensive line -- Monday's first team was the third I've seen in five practices. The right side remains constant with Mark Popek at tackle and Zach Hermann at guard, but Monday had Sampson Genus at center, Jeremiah Warren at left guard and Jamar Bass at left tackle. Would-be starting center Jake Sims, who had been limited with a neck injury, was working with the third team at right tackle. The second line Monday was (l-r) Damien Edwards, Chaz Hine, Kevin McCaskill, Darren Powe and Danous Estenor.
-- Three players weren't running during conditioning drills at start of practice, though none of the injuries seems significant -- defensive tackle Anthony Hill (hamstring), as well as safety Jerrell Young and tight end Jeff Hawkins. I'll get more information on those two after practice.
-- Practice started with head-to-head board drills -- fitting, since it's the first day in full pads -- and by assistant coach John Hendricks' count, the offensive line got the better of the defensive line. Bass got a handshake from Jim Leavitt after a strong showing, and Leavitt is throwing Virgin right into the mix, lining him up against linebackers Jacquian Williams and Sam Barrington. Same for Evan Landi, which shows that they're viewing him like a receiver even though he continues to wear the gold jersey worn by quarterbacks.
-- The four players back returning punts Monday were receivers Patrick Richardson, Daniel Bryant and Colby Erskin and freshman running back Lindsey Lamar. Again, it's like open auditions back there right now, with senior Theo Wilson another option the Bulls will consider. Running back Jamar Taylor was among the players back returning kickoffs.
-- Hey, a Big East team in a top 25. The New York Times' Quad blog continues its countdown with Cincinnati at No. 23. Writer Paul Myerberg writes:
Hey Paul, you might ask, how in the world could you have your pick for a B.C.S.-conference champion ranked all the way back at No. 23? Because, in my opinion, the Big East is not good. And while I have Cincinnati as the best of the lot, in no way is this team a national title contender, nor do I think the Bearcats would finish better than third in, say, the Big 12 South or SEC West.
-- It will be fun to watch former USF quarterback Grant Gregory at Kansas State this fall. "I'd play college football until I'm 40 if they'd let you," Gregory told the Topeka Capital-Journal.
-- The Georgia Sports Blog looks at college football's most tenured BCS-conference coaches without a BCS bowl appearance. The fair thing to do is count USF's Jim Leavitt as going back to 2005, since that's when he moved into a league with an automatic BCS berth. He's tied for 11th on the list by that, with Rutgers' Greg Schiano tied for first, going back to 2001. I always like this list, because there's two ways to get off the list -- make a BCS bowl, or ... stop being tenured.