Morning notes: Lamar getting look at RB
Friday morning marked USF's second spring practice -- no pads until Saturday, but lots of good notes from the opening hour, with more to come once we talk to coaches and players around 11:30 this morning.
-- Speedy senior Lindsey Lamar got all of his work at running back in that first hour -- coaches continue to try to find ways to get him the ball in the open field. He opened his USF career at running back, but lined up at receiver the last two years, though he had more rushes (17) on reverses and option pitches, etc., than he did receptions (11) last year. USF has great depth at receiver, and he still could wind up seeing time at both positions, in addition to his contributions on special teams, where he's topped 800 yards on kickoff returns each of the last two years. Lamar won the Big East indoor track title in the 60 meters, and is running this weekend in the Bulls Invitational in the 100, 200 and 4x100.
-- Senior linebacker Mike Jeune has missed the first two practices -- turns out he went to Ghana with Sam Barrington (who has gone there to see his father each year since he's been at USF) but couldn't return this week due to passport problems. The proper documentation is on its way and Jeune should be back in Tampa soon. He's staying with Barrington's father -- the two linebackers have been best friends since they played together in high school in Jacksonville. (Here's a link to our story on Barrington's first trip to Ghana two years ago.)
-- Not sure of the severity of the injury, but sophomore punter Chris Veron, who had a shot to unseat Justin Brockhaus-Kann this spring, watched practice with a boot on his right foot. If it's any longterm absence, that could hurt Veron, who could see redshirt freshman walk-on Mattias Ciabatti grab the starting punting job from Brockhaus-Kann this spring.
-- With three-year starter Mike Walsh gone, USF has an opening for a long-snapper, and it looks like walk-on David Burdetsky is first in line there. The only other player working on long-snapping Friday, curiously, was tight end Isaac Virgin, who at 6-4, 256 pounds, would bring considerable size to the position.
-- USF is hosting its annual coaching clinic this weekend, so there were a hundred-plus coaches watching Friday's morning practice. Bucs coach Greg Schiano and former Miami coach Randy Shannon are the keynotes speakers tonight. It's a good way to get updates on former coaches -- former USF linebackers coach David Blackwell, out of college football the last two years, is now defensive coordinator at Fordham.
-- Lou Holtz was among those watching Friday's practice, making his first visit of 2012. When you see a golf cart labeled "Coach Holtz," that's never for Skip, who saves that title for his father.
-- Nearly all the new spring walk-ons are still in streetclothes and haven't gotten jerseys yet -- not sure when that will happen, but one of the hopefuls is former Largo offensive lineman Stefan Konjanovski, a two-year starter who graduated in 2010.
-- Other musings: With Jon Lejiste limited this spring, it's worth noting that Friday's second-string safeties were redshirt freshman C.J. Garye (who made a nice pick in drills) and walk-on Trevon Griffin, who sat out last season after transferring from Navy. ... Four players took snaps at center with the quarterbacks at the start of drills: Austin Reiter, Thor Jozwiak, John McGhin and Chandlor Mathews. ... Among those getting work on punt returns: Terrence Mitchell, Lindsey Lamar, Chris Dunkley, Derrick Hopkins, Fidel Montgomery and Kenneth Durden.