Holtz talks about nine midyear newcomers
USF coach Skip Holtz added nine scholarship football players with the start of spring classes last week, and he took time Thursday to talk about the newest members of his 2012 team. Here are his initial impressions on the midyear additions to the Bulls, first the five junior college transfers, then the three high school early enrollees and grayshirt receiver Alex Mut.
"I think it's a very talented group ... There may be more players in this group (than on signing day) that have a chance to make a difference when you look at sheer numbers and the guys who will be here," Holtz said.
Fidel Montgomery and Josh Brown, DBs: "They both bring great athleticism and flexibility. Josh Brown's a 6-foot, 185-pound player, Fidel Montgomery's 6-foot, 182. They both give you some flexibility, because they both have the feet and athleticism to play corner, but I also think they both have the toughness to line up and play safety. I'm really excited to get them here. It's going to create some great competition on the field as we have to replace Q Washington and Jerrell Young. ... With Kenneth Durden and (Chris) Garye coming out of redshirts and a lot of guys being healthy for spring ball."
Tevin Mims, DE: "He's a 6-3, 240-pound defensive end that we think has just a huge upside. Again, the last two years, we've lost four defensive ends when you talk about Patrick Hampton, Claude Davis, and then Craig Marshall and David Bedford. We've lost a lot of firepower at defensive end. We have some pretty good players coming back in Ryne Giddins and JuJu Forte. We have Clavion Nelson and some other younger guys, but Anthony Hill is (the third) experienced guy, and I think Tevin Mims kind of rounds out a two-deep for you and gives you some upperclassmen that you have an opportunity to play with that have an awful lot of talent."
Chandlor Mathews, G/T, and : Lawrence Martin, G/C: "We graduated two players in Chaz Hine and Jeremiah Warren that were very good football players for us, and we've got a host of freshmen ... a lot of younger players I think are going to be really good. I felt like with the juniors and seniors, we don't have the amount of guys with a lot of experience that have played for us. (Martin) is a very talented player, 6-3, 307 pounds. I think he has the feet and athleticism to play tackle, but he also has the size and strength to play inside at the guard position. He gives you some flexibility. I think he has a chance to come in and make an impact and compete for one of the starting jobs we have available right now. (Mathews) is a 6-2, 280-pound player. He gives you a little more flexibility between center and guard. If I were to use terms, I'd say Lawrence Martin is probably more like a Jeremiah Warren, who was a guard/tackle for us, and Chandlor Mathews would be more like Chaz Hine. He's a center or guard. One brings some experience inside, one brings experience on the outside for us. Really excited to see what those two bring to the table."
Chris Bivins, CB: "170-pound defensive back out of Gainesville. Very talented player, really could play either side of the ball. Extremely explosive, very confident. Made decision to come here, which really excited me because I thought he was one of the guys who could come in and have a chance to make a difference even as a freshman because of his athleticism. ... Unfortunately, Chris injured his knee in the regional finals in a game against Armwood, hurt his knee, ended up requiring surgery. He had the procedure done right after Christmas ... he's going to have the opportunity to go through all his rehab here with the medical team we have downstairs, on a day-to-day monitoring system with all his rehab. Great young man, working extremely hard. I think he has a chance to be a special player."
Eric Lee, DE: "A 6-3, 225-pound athletic defensive end. Bright, bright future, competitive recruiting battles we had with him. Very disciplined family. His dad is a retired Marine. Terrific young man, great in the classroom, great person with an awful lot of talent. I see him being a guy after he comes in and redshirts a year, he has a chance to step in (in 2013) and be a real impact player for us."
James Hamilton, DT: "He's about a 335-pound run-stopper. When you look at him, he's cut out of the mold of a Terrell McClain, of a Cory Grissom. A larger body, strong, powerful, quick, athletic. I'm excited what he's going to bring to the table as a defensive linemen with some of the opportunities that are there."
Alex Mut, WR: "Larger receiver, about 6-3, 190 pounds. Could have come in with Andre Davis and Ruben Gonzalez and compete for playing time a year ago. When he hurt his knee in February during basketball season, we sat down with his parents and felt like it was in his best interests to grayshirt. ... I think it was a great move for him with the situation to give him an opportunity to rehab his knee and get healthy. He will be competing this spring with a very talented receiving group. He has great hands. Great young man."