Notes: Safety Jenkins locks up starting nickel job
Two returning starters at safety have kept sophomore JaQuez Jenkins from cracking the starting lineup in USF's base defense, but defensive coordinator Mark Snyder said Sunday that the Lakewood graduate will be part of the Bulls' nickel defense, which will see plenty of action this season.
"It means a lot. If you go back to last year, Skinny (Mistral Raymond) played that role and he was a big part of our defense," Jenkins said after Sunday's practice. "It lets me know I need to come in and play a big role on this defense. I want to do whatever it takes to help my team win the Big East."
Jenkins, who played quarterback and cornerback in high school, had 10 tackles as a redshirt freshman last fall and was able to return an interception 48 yards in USF's bowl victory against Clemson. Head coach Skip Holtz said having two experienced reserves behind starters Jerrell Young and Jon Lejiste is a big help at a key position.
"Jenkins and (sophomore Mark) Joyce are really playing well in the secondary to give us two more starters when you look at it right now," Holtz said.
NOT BAD, FOR STARTERS: After watching tape of Saturday's scrimmage, Holtz said he was disappointed by the lack of depth but liked what he saw from his starting lineups on offense and defense.
"I thought our 1s did a lot of really good things. We're getting close with the first group," Holtz said. "I still have depth concerns. You go back and watch the film and you can look at a play, even with the 2s, where you have 8 or 9 guys doing exactly what they're supposed to do. We just don't have the consistency with the 2s right now that you have to have."
THIS AND THAT: With fall classes starting Monday, USF's roster can expand from 105 to 115 players, and Holtz will have a walk-on meeting, with six to eight players already identified as being in position to join the team. The Bulls have Monday off and return to practice Tuesday afternoon. ... Snyder said the issue of poor tackling "reared its ugly head" during Saturday's scrimmage, but there were a handful of big hits he called "de-cleaters." ... Snyder said redshirt freshman linebacker Reshard Cliett had a strong scrimmage Saturday -- he's pushing senior Curtis Weatherspoon at strongside linebacker. ... Sophomore walk-on receiver Stephen Bravo-Brown said he's put on 15 pounds since last fall and even though he has a redshirt season available, said he looks forward to playing and being part of the much-improved rotation at receiver.