RB Aycock, DE Wilkinson no longer with Bulls
USF's football team opened practice in Vero Beach on Sunday afternoon, but did so without two reserves who are no longer with the team, in sophomore running back Dontae Aycock and freshman defensive end Brandon Wilkinson.
"It happened really just before we left," said Holtz, who had lost just three scholarship players to transfers since the end of his first season. "Both of the situations are very cordial where we're trying to help both of them out in any way, shape or form that we can."
Holtz said that Aycock, a Chamberlain graduate who sat out last season after transferring from Auburn, simply no longer wanted to play football, while Wilkinson didn't want to wait to see playing time and will be transferring to a I-AA school or junior college. While at Chamberlain, he won the Guy Toph Award, given to the top player in Hillsborough County, but his college career may have ended without playing at down at either school.
"(Aycock) was struggling a little bit with his weight this summer ... just really questioning right now that football's in his heart," Holtz said. "He's a different situation than Brandon in that he's decided not to play the game anymore, not to transfer anywhere else. He's done a great job academically since he's been here, especially the last semester or two. He wants to focus on getting his degree, but doesn't feel like football's in his heart so he's not going to play anymore."
Wilkinson, from Venice, came to USF in January 2010 and redshirted last season, but was still undersized and not in a position to be in the rotation at defensive end, even though the Bulls have only three players with significant college experience at the position.
"(Wilkinson) wants to get on the field ... he doesn't feel like he can wait his turn as a redshirt freshman," Holtz said. "He wants to go to a I-AA or a junior college where he can play immediately and possibly get back into the recruiting deal again. ... We understand what he wants and wish him the best."
With Aycock remaining on campus, Holtz was asked if the door was an open for a return at a later date, but he said it's unlikely.
"I didn't close it and I certainly didn't open it," he said. "He is in school. Legally, could he come out and play and be a part of it? Sure. I don't want a merry-go-round here when we're in the fall. I don't want people getting on and off and on and off."