Jersey numbers: Look who's wearing 8 and 95
Every fall, I feel a certain obligation to update my readers on USF's jersey numbers, if only for you video-game junkies who like a completely authentic Bulls roster.
The first fall practice of the Skip Holtz era is little more than an hour away, and USF's online roster has been updated to show jersey numbers for the new arrivals. USF hasn't retired any jerseys in football -- there's an unspoken reverence for the late Keeley Dorsey's No. 10, which no player has worn full-time since his death in 2007 -- and that's clear to see as a few famous USF numbers now have new owners.
If you have a Matt Grothe No. 8 replica jersey or George Selvie's old No. 95, there's good news: Those might have a few more years of relevance after all. QB Jamius Gunsby has jumped on Grothe's No. 8, and defensive tackle Todd Chandler has grabbed Selvie's No. 95 -- both of them have big shoes to fill this fall, and both are strong candidates to play as true freshmen this season.
USF allows double-numbering, with an offensive and defensive player each allowed to have the same number, but you can still think of freshman safety Mark Joyce as wearing Mike Ford's No. 26 this fall. If anything, I'm impressed not to see the usual mad rush for those super-cool single-digit jerseys -- of 20 newcomers this fall, Gunsby is the only one numbered less than 10 so far. (Running back Darrell Scott isn't on the roster yet, but my understanding is he'll wear No. 2, as he did at Colorado.) This could mean a trend away from double-numbering under the new head coach, a move sure to be warmly welcomed by befuddled opposing public-address announcers.
Some players are traditionalists -- receivers Stephen Bravo-Brown, T.J. Knowles and Deonte Welch have old-school receiver numbers of 80, 82 and 83, respectively, while others are decidedly contrarian -- kicker Marvin Kloss will wear No. 99, for instance. We can't talk to newcomers until after the Stony Brook game, but I'll be intrigued to hear why freshman corner Terrence Mitchell opted for his No. 14, when the defensive No. 3 he wore at Hillsborough is available. Lots more to come from practice. ...