Leavitt: DT Stirrups 'going to play a bunch'
Saturday's practice brought the long-awaited arrival of one defensive tackle and news of the departure of another.
Junior Leslie Stirrups made his practice debut, wearing a No. 44 jersey, and USF coach Jim Leavitt said Stirrups is "going to play a bunch for us" and will be challenging for the starting "three-technique" defensive tackle position. The current projected starter is redshirt freshman Cory Grissom, with junior Terrell McClain lined up at nose tackle.
Leavitt also said that sophomore David Fonua, who has been limited by injuries in his two season with the Bulls, has left the team because of personal family reasons. Fonua will not be on scholarship but will remain a student at USF and is a year away from graduating, Leavitt said.
Fonua wasn't likely to get on the field this fall -- he had one tackle last season -- but his departure leaves the Bulls short on bodies on the interior defensive line. Several of the defensive ends -- Aaron Harris, Craig Marshall, David Bedford -- are 260 pounds or more and can slide inside for depth at tackle.
-- Leavitt said that redshirt freshman Evan Landi, who would be the No. 3 quarterback right now, is getting more reps at receiver than he is at quarterback. Leavitt said he'd like to see Landi get 60 to 70 percent of his practice work at receiver this month.
-- Leavitt continues to be impressed with freshman linebacker Sam Barrington, and named him as one player who impressed him during board drills. Leavitt politely said Barrington went up against "a good player" -- we identified him in the previous post -- but said that Barrington "destroyed him."
So Barrington and cornerback Kayvon Webster continue to be the freshmen most sure to be playing this fall, with running back Lindsey Lamar in the mix as well.
-- Junior Jake Sims, expected to be the team's starting center, wasn't participating in drills at the end of practice, with sophomore Kevin McCaskill taking his spot with the first unit. The starting line (l-r) was Jeremiah Warren, Sampson Genus, McCaskill, Zach Hermann and Mark Popek; the second line was Jamar Bass, Chaz Hine, Josh Garvin, Darren Powe and Danous Estenor. That left Jatavious Jackson, Steve Jacques, John McGhin and Damien Edwards on the third line. Doesn't sound like Sims should be out long -- Leavitt said he either was "banged" or was out because of the heat.