Grothe held out again with sore back
USF coach Jim Leavitt said it's nothing to worry about, and Matt Grothe hopes to be back to normal when the Bulls practice again Friday morning, but the junior quarterback was held out of practice Wednesday for the second day in a row due to a sore back.
"Matt Grothe we haven’t been practicing because his back has been sore from lifting. I’m not as worried about him," Leavitt told Times correspondent Joe Rienzi. "If we had a game tonight, he’d be out there."
Leavitt said he talked with running back Moise Plancher for the first time since Plancher's cousin, UCF redshirt freshman receiver Ereck Plancher, collapsed and died after a conditioning workout Tuesday in Orlando. For USF, the tragic death brings back memories of Bulls running back Keeley Dorsey, who was only 19 when he died 14 months ago.
"Moise is a great young man," Leavitt said. "It’s just that sometimes things happen that you don’t understand at all. If anybody understands it’s me, I really do."
Rienzi reports that Leavitt had high praise for Jake Sims, the sophomore walk-on who is working as the team's starting right tackle.
"I’ve really been happy with Jake Sims," Leavitt said. "Oh my goodness. That young man is doing a good job. He’s 6-foot-4, 290 and has great footwork. He’s playing really hard. He might be the guy I’m most impressed with, out of all the guys.”
TWO NEW WALK-ONS: Leavitt has added two new walk-ons to the roster this week in freshman receivers Justin Wilkins and Brandon Moore, who are wearing Nos. 83 and 84. Wilkins joined the roster Tuesday after the Bulls lost Colby Erskin to a torn ACL, and Moore joined the team Wednesday.
Wilkins is from Fort Pierce Central High, where he played receiver as a junior and quarterback as a senior in 2006. He signed with Division II Lincoln University in Missouri but decided not to attend, choosing instead to attend USF with the hopes of making the team as a walk-on. According to Chris Hutchings, his coach at Central, there were two things that kept the 6-foot-3, 180-pound Wilkins from getting a Division I scholarship: First, that Fort Pierce, located between Daytona Beach and Palm Beach, is often overlooked by recruiters, and that Wilkins missed half his senior season with a lacerated kidney from a hit he took Hutchings said Wilkins' strength is his intelligence, and he was athletic enough to play forward on the varsity basketball team as well.