Monday notes: Luberice hurt, Spires gone
Monday's notes from Times correspondent Kerry Klecic ...
TAMPA — USF defensive coordinator Joe Tresey was direct Monday when asked what the most important thing for his defense will be on Saturday when the Bulls open against Wofford: assignments.
Tresey said responsibility will be important for his defense to stop Wofford’s option-running attack.
“No. 1, everyone has to know their job, and once they do everyone has to play fast,” he said. “From there, it’s tackling and not giving up big plays.”
Tresey said, 60 percent of the Terriers’ offense it will be option-type runs. He said the defense is getting a lot of reps in its three linebacker base defense, rather than Tresey’s preferred nickel.
If the Bulls go in a base, Tresey said sophomore Quenton Washington and senior Jerome Murphy would most likely start at corner despite freshman Kayvon Webster’s strong camp.
Aside from senior Kion Wilson, who will start in the middle, Tresey said senior Chris Robinson, junior Sabbath Joseph and freshman Sam Barrington and junior Jacquian Williams are competing for spots at linebacker.
Tight end out: Senior tight end Kenneth Luberice, who coach Jim Leavitt referred to as a potential starter last week, left practice in an ankle boot. Luberice is listed as the Bulls’ No. 3 behind senior Ben Busbee and junior Andrew Ketchel. Leavitt said he didn’t think it was broken.
“I’m not sure if he’ll play Saturday,” Leavitt said.
Spires leaves team: Senior linebacker Donte Spires, who was battling for a spot on USF’s two deep roster, left the team because of academic and financial reasons, Leavitt said.
Spires, a Plant graduate, spent a year and a half at a Pearl River Community College before coming to USF, but Leavitt said he has a redshirt year available. Spires will not be in school this fall.
“He’d be much better off having an entire spring ball,” Leavitt said. “We lose Kion (Wilson). We lose Chris (Robinson). We lose some seniors there, so we thought it would be best to go the other direction.
Hester and Love status: Leavitt said senior Jessie Hester and junior A.J. Love — both listed as No. 2s at receiver on USF’s depth chart — are still not 100 percent. He said he doesn’t know if they’ll play Saturday. Junior Dontavia Bogan, who’s listed as a starter at receiver and kick returner, is 100 percent and practicing.
Other notes: Popek missed Monday’s practice because of the flu. Leavitt said two or three players missed practice in camp because of flu symptoms … Largo freshman walk-on Ryan Eppes is working as the scout team quarterback this week, simulating the Terriers’ option attack.