Lane says coaching made punt block easy
We write a lot about walk-ons on the blog, but frankly, they keep making plays for USF, so it's hard not to. Take senior walk-on safety Chris Lane, who helped shift momentum back to the Bulls in the first half Saturday when he blocked a Stony Brook punt in the end zone, then jumped on the loose ball for his first college touchdown.
"I was just doing what I was coached to do. We ran our regular punt, and the ball hit the ground," Lane said. "We work so hard. This is a team, and you want to do something to help your team win. Of course, you're excited, because you spend all of camp, all spring and summer with these guys."
Lane, a safety from Miramar Everglades High, didn't walk on with the Bulls until his fourth year at USF, making his grades his top focus for the first three years. He'll graduate in December with a degree in biomedical sciences, with a minor in public health, and while he hopes to go to EMT school and become a firefighter, for the next four months, he's enjoying being a football player.
"I missed the sport too much, so I came back," said Lane, who made the team under Jim Leavitt and played on last year's punt-block unit, then proved his value to Skip Holtz this spring to keep a spot on the unit.
Asked if his eyes got wide Saturday when he realized that Stony Brook's punter was picking up the loose ball in the end zone and trying to punt, rather than conceding the safety, and Lane said he didn't hesitate.
"You go through so much practice as a team on special teams. We practice blocking the ball all the time," he said. "It's just kind of a reaction because of the coaching."
Lane, much like fellow safety Mistral Raymond, running back Bradley Battles, linebacker Curtis Weatherspoon and tackle Jake Sims, was known for having some of the longest hair on the team, but in camp, he shaved his head, less out of superstition than in response to the summer heat.
"I had dreads for a while," Lane said. "You get through camp in Vero Beach, and it's a little warm over there. It was just trying to cool off in this Florida heat. We're out here working hard, and it helps me work a little harder because I don't have that heat on me."
-- Tweeted this Sunday, but former USF linebacker Kion Wilson signed with the Chargers' practice squad. I'd expect linebacker Tyrone McKenzie to land on another roster after being cut by the Patriots, and another Bulls alum or two should find a practice squad after late cuts.
-- Cool photo gallery from Saturday's game on USF's official site.
-- Didn't take long for USF signee Mike Hayes to make an impact at Houston. The running back caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from Case Keenum less than two minutes into Houston's opening 68-28 win against Texas State. He added a rushing touchdown, finishing with 18 yards on four carries and 44 yards on two catches for the Cougars. Here's a pic from ESPN.com. Another would-be Bulls running back, Youngstown State's Adaris Bellamy, rushed for 38 yards on 12 carries in the Penguins' loss to Penn State.