Make that nine linemen, plus lots of notes
Did I say six linemen? By the time coach Jim Leavitt was done running through the injuries and illnesses sidelining and limiting his offensive line at Monday's afternoon practice -- "That's not really the deal," he prefaced -- he'd rattled off nine names.
None besides guard Matt Huners are known to extend to USF's season opener, now 19 days off, but he's a rundown: Walter Walker (ankle, no longer in boot), Marc Dile (limited by sore knee), Ryan Schmidt (out, ankle), Danny Tolley (out, groin), Zach Hermann (out, flu), Kevin McCaskill (out, right foot in boot), Sampson Genus (limited, mild concussion), walk-on Joe Herzhauser (out, cast on right wrist).
"That's taking a little bit of toll on our offensive line. Not an excuse, but we're losing a little bit of continuity," Leavitt said. "You put all those names together, that's a lot of offensive linemen. We expect most of them back. Tolley, we're not sure, and Huners, you know about."
One starting offensive line seen at practice Monday, featuring just one player on the starting line from the preseason depth chart: Capogna at center, Genus at right guard, walk-on Jacob Sims at right tackle, Jake Griffin at left guard, senior Jared Carnes at left tackle.
-- Leavitt said Genus, a true freshman who could play guard or center, "has had an absolutely spectacular camp so far. Sampson Genus will play this year and play a lot. He's 6-foot, 310 pounds, very strong, really good feet. He's backing up Nick (Capogna) right now." Other freshmen impressing Leavitt: defensive tackle Terrell McClain and fullback Richard Kelly. Running back Jamar Taylor "is looking really good," but waiting to hear on an NCAA hardship waiver. "This year or next," Leavitt said.
-- Asked what receivers were in best position to step up after Colby Erskin's knee injury Saturday, Leavitt pointed to sophomore Jessie Hester Jr. and senior Courtney Denson. "Jessie has taken it upon himself. Jessie was going to play a lot anyway. Courtney Denson will get a lot more reps now."
-- Yet another position change: Receiver-turned-quarterback-turned-safety Carlton Hill is ... back at receiver. It's his third position change in 12 career games with the Bulls. When'd he come back? "When I suggested that'd be the move to make a few days ago," Leavitt said.