QB Landi working at WR; LB McQueen gone
Redshirt freshman quarterback Evan Landi got a look at wide receiver during Wednesday's practice and showed enough promise that USF coach Jim Leavitt said he'll continue to work at both positions, as well as all over the field on special teams.
"We worked him as a receiver, at DB, (as holder), long-snapping and kicking, in one day," Leavitt said. "Let me tell you something: He was great in all of it. There's no question Evan Landi is going to ... right now, if we (had) a game today, he would be rotating with the starters at receiver. ... We know he can quarterback, and he's very good there. He's going to travel, and I want him out playing. He's too good not to be on the field."
Landi has been mentioned as a possible safety, but Leavitt said he wants to keep him on offense. He compared Landi to Kansas' Kerry Meier, a backup quarterback who also played receiver and had a breakout season in 2008, catching 97 passes for 1,045 yards and eight touchdowns. Leavitt said Landi is in position to be USF's holder on kicks, taking over for senior Grant Gregory.
-- Junior linebacker Alonzo McQueen, who had been working with the second-team defense as recently as Tuesday, has left the team and will transfer to a smaller school, Leavitt said.
"I don't want him to leave, because I care so much for him, but he wants to have a chance to start, and Kion (Wilson) is our starting middle linebacker," Leavitt said. "Alonzo's a very good football player, and now we have a hole there at the No. 2 middle linebacker position."
McQueen, who totaled just four tackles in his first two seasons, would have two years of eligibility at a I-AA school and could play this fall. His departure leaves the Bulls with just five scholarship linebackers this spring, though there will be more depth when signees arrive in the fall.
Redshirt freshman Mike Lanaris was working as the No. 2 middle linebacker Wednesday, alongside another redshirt freshman, Armando Sanchez, at strongside linebacker.
-- Consistently among the national leaders in penalties, USF has had a crew of officials working every practice this week. The Bulls have often brought in officials for scrimmages, but the extra presence this spring could help reduce penalties down the road.
"It's been really good. We've had a lot more of that kind of work than we've really ever had," Leavitt said.
Terry McAulay, the Big East coordinator of football officials, was at Tuesday's practice -- the 11th-year NFL official was also in Tampa as referee for Super Bowl XLIII when the Steelers and Cardinals played at Raymond James Stadium.