Receiver Mitchell says offense should click
Thursday's practice notes from Times correspondent Kerry Klecic, who has now finished preparations for sidebar duties on Saturday.
TAMPA — Things were different for USF junior wide receiver Carlton Mitchell in fall camp this season.
Mitchell, a 6-foot-4 Gaither graduate, said he took a more focused approach to preseason practices, as the offense learned a new system under new offensive coordinator Mike Canales.
“The most important thing is to appreciate your stumbling blocks and be thankful for everything you go through — everything happens for a reason,” said Mitchell of USF’s last two seasons.
Mitchell said there is more communication on the team with Canales, especially between quarterbacks and receivers.
“I just know that the quarterbacks and receivers, we’re in the same meeting rooms now,” he said. “Before, we were separate. We’re on the same page now ... It’s real important.”
Mitchell, who needs 58 yards to reach the 1,000 career receiving mark, could be one of USF’s most experienced targets Saturday, when the Bulls open against Wofford at 7 p.m., because of senior Jessie Hester (ankle) and junior A.J. Love (knee) not listed as starters.
“We’re definitely concerned about our receivers and their well-beings — mentally and physically,” he said. “I think with Jessie it’s hard. I’ve had my injuries before, so when I get the chance and I see him down, I am always there to talk to him. I really believe he’ll be fine by game time.”
Washington is No. 2 corner: If the Bulls go with a three linebacker, base defense to stop the Terriers’ triple-option offense Saturday, sophomore Quenton Washington and senior Jerome Murphy will be USF’s starters at corner, defensive coordinator Joe Tresey said Thursday.
Freshman Kayvon Webster, sophomore Tyson Butler and redshirt freshman George Baker all pushed Washington for the Bulls’ No. 2 spot.
Tresey said he wasn’t sure who the Bulls’ top three linebackers were, saying they would rotate.
Other notes: Tresey said he’ll be on the sidelines rather in the booth Saturday because of the implementation of a new system. Canales will be in the booth calling plays … USF coach Jim Leavitt said tight ends Kenneth Luberice and Jeff Hawkins won’t play Saturday because of injury. Redshirt freshman Andreas Shields, who injured his ankle in camp, will dress … Leavitt said USF will have a walk-through and watch film Friday.