Leavitt: Practices shorter, but more intense
Here's Tuesday's afternoon practice notes, filed by Times correspondent Kerry Klecic:
TAMPA -- USF coach Jim Leavitt is opting for shorter practices this fall, emphasizing more head-to-head competition as the Bulls prepare for their season opener Sept. 5 against Wofford.
“We’re a lot more intense,” he said after Tuesday's afternoon practice, which lasted about 80 minutes. “When you go ones and ones and twos and twos at the pace we’re going ... we better not just bury them, so I’m very conscious of that. The afternoon practice we took off about 20 minutes from what we did last year, and the year before that.”
The Bulls went a full two hours in full pads Tuesday morning and finished in shoulder pads and shorts during the afternoon. Although Leavitt said he didn’t shorten practice because of the intense heat the Bulls have practiced in, he did mention that “this is the hottest it’s been for the last five years.”
A tough transition: USF senior defensive end George Selvie said Tuesday that the defensive line has had a tough time transitioning with some of new defensive coordinator Joe Tresey’s schemes.
“To tell you the truth, it’s been a rough couple days of learning the defense and just moving around,” Selvie said. “(Coaches) are throwing a lot of different stuff at us, and we just take it as we go. We’re just trying to get better each day.”
Quick hits: Leavitt said the Bulls will hold their first scrimmage Saturday, and Big East officials will referee … Just a day after switching from running back to safety, freshman Bradley Battles was back with the offense Tuesday, working at running back … For the second day in a row, defensive end Craig Marshall was working with the first-team defensive line at tackle. Leavitt said Marshall will play both end and tackle during the season … Leavitt said sophomore walk-on Mike Walsh, a Plant graduate, will do the long snapping duties this season. Backup quarterback and receiver Evan Landi will be the holder on field goal attempts and extra points.