Grothe back at practice as promised
Almost exactly a week after he was sidelined with a hip injury, USF quarterback Matt Grothe was back with the Bulls on Monday night, returning to regular participation in USF's practice.
Nearby lightning suspended practice after about a half-hour, but Grothe did everything his fellow quarterbacks did, going through warm-up throws and directing the offense in 7-on-7 drills. Coaches had said last week that he'd return by Monday and should be healthy enough to play in USF's season opener Saturday against Elon.
Other notes from Monday's practice:
-- One day after USF had said that defensive tackle Corian Garrison was deferring his enrollment until January, the recruit got good news from the NCAA Clearinghouse on Monday. He's been fully cleared, and though fall classes started Monday, Garrison said he plans on going through late registration and starting classes this week. He's recovering from knee surgery in July and will take a redshirt this fall, but getting in for fall allows his rehabilitation to be supervised by USF's trainers and puts him in the Bulls' weight-room program as well, both of which should help him be in better shape for spring football. So the correct count for this year's recruiting class is now six signees not qualifying for fall classes.
-- USF is clarifying its official depth chart at running back. On Sunday night, they released three names, in order: starter Ben Williams and backups Mike Ford and Moise Plancher. They later added a second running back position on the depth chart, with three more names: Aston Samuels, Jamar Taylor and walk-on Shawn Cannon. The correct order, we're told, for those six running backs: Williams, Samuels, Ford, Taylor, Plancher and Cannon. That makes more sense, in that it shows Carl Franks deferring to experience ahead of the unproven younger players. All the backs are going to see action against Elon, so a more telling depth chart will be the one we get next week.
-- I swear, if the No. 3 jersey instantly gave players hives all over their bodies, it still wouldn't account for the hot-potato action with players changing numbers this fall. Receiver Jason Sherman, who has already worn numbers 23, 4 and 3 in the past month, is now wearing No. 1, and running back Moise Plancher will wear No. 3 (along with defensive back Jerome Murphy) this fall. Now it's been like an hour since I saw them, so they may have switched jerseys again. I'll keep you guys posted.
-- Teams can expand their rosters beyond 105 players once school starts, so walk-on quarterback Matt Piloto joined the team today, as did running back Rafael Bennett, who'd been on roster in the spring. There's a new walk-on defensive lineman, but I haven't gotten a name yet. Check back later on him.
-- Just to update the USF-NFL note from earlier, defensive end Tim Jones was among nine players cut by the Bucs.