Holtz on Griffin: 'He'll play for us this season'
There is good news and bad news to update on the ankle injury suffered by USF sophomore receiver Sterling Griffin on Monday morning. First, the bad news: Griffin dislocated his ankle and fractured the bottom of his fibula during a voluntary workout, in an injury that sent him to the hospital.
The good news: USF coach Skip Holtz said he fully expects Griffin to recover in time to play for the Bulls this fall, perhaps for a good part of the season.
"He's going to be a while, and we don't know the extent of it all at this point," Holtz said. "The bone is a six-to-eight week deal, right about the beginning of the season. I don't know how much damage (there is) until some of the swelling (goes down), but very definitely, he'll play for us this season."
Griffin's injury is still a significant one -- Holtz said an ambulance called because the dislocated ankle didn't immediately pop back into place. Receiver is a position where USF has already taken unexpected losses -- Carlton Mitchell skipped his senior year to enter the NFL draft, and senior A.J. Love suffered a serious knee injury in USF's spring game, but is hopeful of returning for part of the season. Griffin, who had 14 catches for 265 yards and two touchdowns as a true freshman, was penciled in as a starter entering the season.
"I hate it for him, but somebody's going to have to step up," Holtz said during a booster dinner at Tampa Palms Golf & Country Club. "We will really look for some of the incoming freshmen to come in and make a difference."
-- Holtz is in an interesting predicament this fall, with far more interested parties than he has remaining scholarships available. Add one more name to the list of potential late additions: Colby Erskin, the former USF receiver who is recovering from a third knee surgery but has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.
Holtz said he met with Erskin and his father, Kevin, last week, and said that Erskin has gotten the waiver and made progress with his knee to where he can be considered as an option for a remaining scholarship. "I've got to make sure we have room -- that's the hard part at this point," Holtz said. "I told him I'm supposed to talk with him again this week."
Erskin, a former walk-on who was put on scholarship by former USF coach Jim Leavitt, would want to be on scholarship to play a sixth year. If USF cannot do that, Erskin is eligible as a college graduate to transfer and play immediately, the same way quarterback Grant Gregory did at Kansas State last fall.
Erskin played a small role in the controversy that led to Leavitt's firing in January, telling USF investigators that walk-on Joel Miller had told him that Leavitt slapped him twice in the face and grabbed him by the throat during halftime of USF's Nov. 21 game against Louisville. He also said Leavitt had his locker cleaned out after the International Bowl on Jan. 2 and threw its contents, including personal items, in a trash bin. Leavitt denied doing so, but the alleged incident was mentioned as part of USF's investigation.