Holtz: Lamar has moved to running back
TAMPA -- Rising senior Lindsey Lamar, one of the team's fastest players, has moved back to running back after spending the last two seasons at wide receiver, taking from a position of great depth to help a position lacking proven, veteran players.
"We've moved Lamar back to the running back position," coach Skip Holtz said after Saturday's practice, the Bulls' first in pads. "With Darrell Scott's departure, you have Demetris Murray as really the only proven back there. At the inside "H" receiver, you have Victor Marc that's played a lot, you have Terrence Mitchell that can go in there, Derrick Hopkins. We felt like we had a little depth there, and we wanted to put one more guy in the mix there at the running back position."
Lamar is among USF's smallest players at 5-foot-9, 164 pounds, but he also has game-breaking speed, having won the Big East indoor track 60-meter championship last month. He returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in 2010 on the way to being named Big East Special Teams Player of the Year. That breakaway speed, much like junior Marcus Shaw, will complement Murray as a change-of-pace option.
"After the first three days, he brings a little different dimension, because him and Marcus have such speed," Holtz said. "We've got to get to where we can be every-down players, but we're working him all at running back right now."
-- Holtz said that punter Chris Veron has his right foot in a boot because of "horseplay in the dorm ... horsing around." He had an opportunity to challenge returning starter Justin Brockhaus-Kann, who's also being pushed by freshman walk-on Mattias Ciabatti, but Holtz wasn't sure if or when Veron would be able to kick this spring.
"It's a shame. Spring's the opportunity you have to earn a position," Holtz said. "With the way we punted the ball last year, that position is wide-open. I'm trying to find a punter. Brockhaus is going to have to improve, because there's competition out there, and if he doesn't, somebody else is going to take it from him."
-- Holtz said that redshirt freshman David Burdetsky is in position to take over for three-year starter Mike Walsh as the team's long-snapper. Burdetsky, from Jacksonville Trinity Christian, redshirted last year, but Holtz said he would have taken him out of that redshirt had anything happened to Walsh last season.
"Right now, he's snapping the ball really well, and if we keep this up for the next 15 days, we're definitely going to camp with him being the No. 1," Holtz said.
-- We'll have nuggets later this weekend on the 20 new walk-ons that joined the team this spring -- Holtz gave them jerseys and numbers for Saturday's practice and welcomed them as part of the team.
-- Here's video of Holtz's opening statements, talking about the leadership he is seeing for the 2012 team and how encouraged he is by the size and character of his senior class.