McClain back at practice, Selvie still out
News and notes from the first half-hour of Monday night's practice, where defensive tackle Terrell McClain has returned to drills while defensive end George Selvie remains a spectator, three days before the Bulls play Pittsburgh on ESPN at Raymond James Stadium.
McClain, who did not play in Saturday's win at N.C. State because of an ankle injury, was working with the second-team defensive line in sled drills Monday; Selvie watched those workouts as he recovers from an ankle injury that also kept him out against the Wolfpack.
Last week, USF coach Jim Leavitt said three days before the N.C. State game that Selvie wouldn't start because he hadn't practiced; we'll see if there's any decision regarding that after practice. Cornerback Theo Wilson, who injured his left knee on a punt return Saturday, did not practice Monday.
THE FAKE McCOY: This is really the first week there's an interest in which scout-team players are playing the part of opposing stars. Playing the role of Panthers sophomore running back LeSean McCoy is freshman Demetris Murray, who was wearing his No. 25 jersey in practice Monday. Murray, at 5-foot-10, 205 pounds, is a reasonable physical likeness for the 5-11, 210-pound McCoy.
Freshman quarterback Evan Landi is wearing No. 11 to simulate Pitt quarterback Bill Stull, and it's worth noting that one of two players simulating receiver Oderick Turner is true freshman Daniel Bryant, who got a ton of praise from coaches in August but has now been relegated to the scout team. I don't believe he's played since the opener against Tennessee-Martin.
POPULAR: USF reports that 13 NFL teams will have representatives at Thursday's game to scout potential future draft picks. The Bulls are playing host to 11 bowl representatives as well, including the Orange, Sugar, Rose and Fiesta.
-- A few links ... Matt Grothe is up to No. 9 on SI.com's Heisman Watch, which no longer has Florida's Tim Tebow in the top 10. Connecticut running back Donald Brown, the nation's leading rusher with 906 yards, is in at No. 10.
-- Pitt linebacker Scott McKillop had high praise for Grothe in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Monday: "Matt Grothe is the most underrated quarterback in the country," McKillop said. "He's as good as anyone out there, anyone you can name." Grothe returned the favor in talking about McKillop on Monday, remembering his 18 tackles in last year's game and saying "he was all over the field ... any time you have a guy doing that, it's going to boost the rest of your defense."
Grothe was asked about his 80-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second half last year against Pittsburgh -- all the more impressive because he hasn't rushed for 80 yards in a game since.
"That's a long run, especially for an average-speed quarterback," Grothe said. "At the same time, it was a big confidence-booster for our team. ... It was quite tiring afterwards."
Grothe said he likes the national platform of a Thursday night game, the exposure for the program and the boost for recruiting, even seeing the Sky Cam floating on wires above the field. Last week's game reminded the Bulls that they don't want a national TV audience to see them lose.
"I know most of the guys on the team were watching the USC-Oregon State game," Grothe said. "That's going to be us this week. Hopefully we won't have the same outcome they did."