Notes: With smaller role, Lamar headed for redshirt
TAMPA -- It's an indication of USF's new depth and young talent on offense, but senior running back Lindsey Lamar, just two seasons removed from being Big East Special Teams Player of the Year, has agreed to redshirt this year and will save his final season for 2013.
"Having four running backs with Lindsey not in the mix ...," coach Skip Holtz said. "I think Lindsey is a weapon, he's fast, he can run. A little bit rusty right now at running back. He hadn't played there in two years. I don't think he's an every-down back back there yet. I think he can truly benefit from a redshirt year. ... He would rather do that, which I totally respect."
Lamar, a Hillsborough grad, has been USF's primary kick returner the past two seasons, with two touchdowns on returns in 2010. But the Bulls opted to use starting cornerback Kayvon Webster instead, and he fared well, with 53 yards on three returns and a long return to midfield that was negated by a holding penalty.
Lamar seemed to have handled the transition from receiver to his original position of running back well and was listed as the team's No. 2 back entering fall camp. The emergence of junior Marcus Shaw moved him down a spot, and Holtz is content to go with starter Demetris Murray and backups Willie Davis and Bradley Battles. The Bulls didn't run particularly well Saturday, totaling 85 yards on 31 carries; the longest carry by any running back was 9 yards.
That makes as many as five non-freshmen on offense that may redshirt this fall as a result of an influx of younger talents, with Lamar joining junior QB Bobby Eveld, sophomore WR Ruben Gonzalez, sophomore TE Tye Turner and junior RB Mike Pierre.
POINT TAKEN: With his third extra point in the first half, senior Maikon Bonani became USF's career scoring leader, giving him 247 points, one more than kicker Santiago Gramatica (2001-04). Bonani already has the Bulls' records for career field goals (51) and field-goal accuracy (75.0 percent) and could get the career extra points record this year -- he entered the year 41 behind Gramatica, who finished with 132.
YOUNG UP FRONT: USF's starting offensive line included three players making their first college start -- left tackle Damien Edwards, center Austin Reiter and right tackle Max Lang. Both tackles were pressed into duty by injuries to projected starters -- Quinterrius Eatmon, who'd missed time with a concussion, rotated with Lang throughout the first half, while Darrell Williams, limited by an ankle injury midweek, did not play in the first half.
BEST FOOT FORWARD: Holtz wanted improvements in the kicking game, and he had that in the first half -- punter Justin Brockhaus-Kann averaged a net 50 yards on two punts, both setting up UTC inside its 10-yard line. Sophomore Marvin Kloss, a walk-on placed on scholarship this week, sent all five of his kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks.
THIS AND THAT: USF substituted extensively on the defensive line, but didn't go to their bench at linebacker or defensive back until late in the third quarter, except for going to former walk-on Ernie Tabuteau for the nickel package. ... USF will select captains each game, and Saturday's were Daniels, guard Danous Estenor, tight end Evan Landi and linebacker Sam Barrington. ... Among those making their USF debut was fullback Spencer Cavalieri, a Gaither grad who was placed on scholarship this week. Sophomore DT Todd Chandler, playing in his first game, had five tackles, including a team-best three for losses.