Notes: Bulls headed back to Vero in August
It's been presumed for some time, but USF football coach Skip Holtz confirmed Wednesday that for the third year in a row, the Bulls will train at the Vero Beach Sports Village -- formerly Dodgertown -- for about 11 days as part of their preseason camp in August.
The Bulls expect to have three days of practice in Tampa -- fulfilling the NCAA's required ramp-up from non-contact to drills in pads -- and then will report to Vero on August 8, staying there until the 18th or 19th, Holtz said. Holtz has taken the team to the all-inclusive complex in each of his two seasons at USF, liking the absence of distractions and the camaraderie built during practices and meetings in close quarters. The Bulls will return to campus for the start of fall classes, with two full weeks of preparation there for USF's opener against I-AA Chattanooga on Sept. 1.
-- One minor transaction to report, as Holtz said that backup offensive lineman Chandlor Mathews, a junior college transfer who joined the Bulls in January, is transferring out to be closer to his family and home in Mississippi. Mathews, who hadn't lined up with anything higher than the third-team offensive line in spring drills, said Wednesday afternoon that there have been family issues in recent weeks that prompted his transfer.
Mathews said he has already spoken to Southern Miss as a potential landing spot, and said the family issues will put him in position to be eligible for a hardship waiver that will allow him to play immediately this fall rather than sitting out a season. Mathews, who has two years of eligibility remaining, has also talked with coaches from Louisiana-Lafayette and South Alabama.
-- Lots more to get to from Holtz's informal meeting with reporters, but he did mention that he'll enter the fall with senior Damien Edwards as the starter to beat at left guard, ahead of junior college transfer Lawrence Martin, though the two should have good competition in camp. He expects Danous Estenor healthy at the other guard spot, with four members of USF's 2011 recruiting class filling out the second-team line: Darrell Williams, Brynjar Gudmundsson, Thor Jozwiak and Max Lang.