Holtz names young players poised for larger roles
Wednesday is our final access to USF players and Skip Holtz in a given game week, so I asked Holtz today to name a few young players on both sides of the ball that have made the most out of the bye week and open window to shake up the depth chart. His response:
"Offensively, Sean Price. D'Vario Montgomery. Those are probably the two that have stuck out the most. ... Young guys on the defensive side of the ball: Tashon Whitehurst. Great to see Reshard Cliett coming back. I think he's growing up. He's really doing a nice job. Zack Bullock has made some progress running around. I think (freshman Chris) Bivens has done some really good things this week. He's a guy you're going to see a little bit more of than we have in the past. Clavion Nelson is a name we've talked about as a guy that has earned the opportunity maybe to get some playing time.
"You are going to see some of these younger guys play. We've got to get more of a rotation going and get more depth on the field (rather than) play these guys 75 plays a game."
Cliett continued to work with the No. 1 defense on Wednesday, with senior Mike Lanaris working with the second unit, and Holtz said having senior Sam Barrington in the middle helps give the Bulls more legitimate depth at linebacker, with Lanaris, Bullock and Whitehurst all available as top backups.
"Moving Sam inside gives us three-four guys on an inside rotation. I think Mike Lanaris has played really well. Sam Barrington has played very well. DeDe Lattimore has played very well. But we're one deep across the board. That's where Reshard Cliett coming along gives us the ability to move Sam Barrington inside. Now you have Sam and Mike playing the same position, and you can keep a fresh body in the game. Same with Tashon Whitehurst coming along -- he's going to be able to spell DeDe a little bit more at the Will (weakside). You're going to have the opportunity to play more guys, and those linebackers aren't going to have to play as many plays. Hopefully that's going to result in a fresher player for 60 minutes."