High praise for newcomers Lamar, Williams
Plenty of notes to get to after USF's first practice -- most of those missing newcomers had conflicts with classes -- but we'll start with strong first impressions by two newcomers, speedy freshman running back Lindsey Lamar and junior college linebacker Jacquian Williams.
"I tell you, Lamar has the quickest feet I've ever seen in my life," quarterback Matt Grothe said after practice. "He is ridiculously fast, and I think he's going to have a shot to play this year. We'll see, but I know he impressed a lot of people today." (Check out Grothe's interview here on Youtube.com.)
USF coach Jim Leavitt said Lamar and cornerback Kayvon Webster have a chance to play right away, and linebacker Kion Wilson said he's been impressed by linebacker Jacquian Williams, a junior college transfer who's competing with junior Sabbath Joseph for the weakside job.
"I most definitely have to say Jacquian," Wilson said. "His coverage skills -- I haven't seen a linebacker cover as well as he can. He can cover. I trust him in space."
-- We reported earlier that six newcomers weren't with the team in the first half-hour of practice, but Leavitt had nearly all accounted for. Williams and cornerback Kayvon Webster joined practice late after classes and orientation, and defensive end Ryne Giddins and quarterback Isaac Virgin were finishing classes in the final week of the summer semester. Leavitt said defensive tackle Leslie Stirrups has finished his coursework but hasn't been formally accepted into USF, and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is expected to finish his final classes next week.
-- Walk-on return specialist Faron Hornes was at practice in streetclothes -- hasn't been accepted into school yet, but is expected to join the team shortly.
-- One new walk-on to report: long-snapper Nick Pisasik, a freshman from American Heritage in Fort Lauderdale. He was a second-team all-county pick by the Sun-Sentinel as an offensive lineman, and started his high school career at Coral Springs Charter as a teammate of USF QB Evan Landi. He'll challenge expected starter Mike Walsh, a sophomore walk-on.
-- USF's official site has a photo gallery of newcomers.