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19

October

Lots of little notes there isn't room for in the paper, so I'm finding a home for them here (by the way, weather.com has the low in Cincy on Sunday night as 33, with 30 percent chance of rain) ...

-- Yes, Andre Hall is working out next week for his sixth NFL team, after working out for the Broncos this week without getting signed. Next week, he's off to the Houston Texans, who may have the worst running back depth in the league, with NFL flotsam like Ron Dayne on roster along with former Packers back Samkon Gado and undrafted rookie Wali Lundy from Virginia. The Texans are dead last in the NFL, averaging 67 rushing yards a game, though they already have a running back, undrafted rookie Chris Taylor of Indiana, on their practice squad.

-- From the Stories Never Written Dept., I'd hoped to write a story this week, with the Bulls making a rare Sunday appearance, on David Lane, the team's longtime chaplain. Lane politely declined, and I certainly respect his wishes for privacy, but it's worth mentioning how much USF's players appreciate his guidance and prayers.

"I'm not a church-going person myself, I don't go to church every Sunday religiously," linebacker Patrick St. Louis said. "But every time I get the chance to go to chapel (services), for that moment in time he has me thinking. I might not think about the Lord every day, but he keeps letting me know the Lord is in my life. He's a real blessing to be around. He literally prays for every person on this team. I've got nothing bad to say about him or (trainer) Steve Walz. Those two people are an inspirational part of this team. Without those two, I don't know where I'd be."

-- Third-string quarterback Grant Gregory played his high school football in Athens, Ohio, in the southeast corner of the state, about two and a half hours from Cincinnati, but he came close to committing to the Bearcats before his senior year. Gregory was choosing between Cincy and Indiana, where he signed and redshirted one season before transferring last year. He was glad he chose the Hoosiers, if only because the Bearcats coach that recruited him, Rick Minter, got fired, and Gregory said new coach Mark Dantonio "dropped every offer they had. If I had committed there, I might have been stuck. Some of the people who had been offered and committed ending up coming back, but he re-evaluated everything." Gregory said he liked Cincinnati, remembers the new facilities they were proud of. Who knows what might have changed if Gregory had chosen the Bearcats, who signed current starting QB Dustin Grutza from northern Kentucky in the same recruiting class.

-- Basketball's first few days of practice were limited by a slew of lingering injuries. We knew that Dante Curry was lost for the season with an Achilles' tendon injury, that Chris Howard was likely out until late December recovering from knee surgery, that Zaronn Cann had yet to be cleared following his own knee surgery. But four other scholarship players were watching from courtside at the end of Monday's practice -- forwards Melvyn Richardson (foot), Aris Williams (tendonitis), Amu Saaka (unknown) and Jesus Verdejo (back) aren't expected to miss significant time, but Monday's workout closed with five scholarship players and five walk-ons, including three who are working with the team but haven't been rostered yet. McCullum has been especially pleased with Saaka, whose play could make small forward USF's deepest position, with enough talent that Melvin Buckley and McHugh Mattis will moonlight at other positions to keep them on the floor more. The preseason exhibition against Saint Leo is now just 16 days away, with the season opening a week later.

-- I also stopped by Hillsborough Community College on Monday afternoon for practice there, getting my first look at two prospects that USF is in strong position for -- center Kenie Freeman and forward Ejike Hart, both Nigerians (actually born in Liberia but raised in Nigeria) who came to the U.S. two years ago. The Bulls have offered both and had them in for official visits two weeks ago, so previous reports of them committing to Houston are now dated. The Cougars continue to recruit both, and there's a third HCC prospect, Bosnian swingman Milos Klimovic, a 6-foot-6 sophomore with good three-point range, that the Bulls are also aware of. Klimovic's coach last year at Lake Region State in North Dakota didn't seem to think Klimovic was a Big East player, and USF has not offered him any scholarship.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 11:16am]

    

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