Spring football: Sooner than you think
Didn't think you could wait until March 18 for spring football practice? No need to worry. The Bulls will squeeze in three practices before spring break, going March 4-6 before starting spring drills in earnest on March 18. So yes, spring football is just 12 days away ... with a 12-day hiatus in the middle.
USF sent out its full spring roster Thursday, and as the official blog of record for all things walk-on, I have a few departures to announce, even if they won't likely cause much of a fuss anywhere but here on the blog. Seven walk-ons who were on roster at the end of the fall aren't there for spring: kickers William Criswell and Morgan Riley, linebackers Josh Soto, Brad Chancey and Caleb Russell and running backs Rafael Bennett and Marquise Pease.
Again, nothing unusual here -- don't think any of those seven had made it on the field, with Criswell the longest-tenured of the departing walk-ons. I'm down to seven Pinellas County players this spring, with Riley, Criswell and Chancey leaving, but there are more locals coming in the fall. I can't do my "Pease, Love and Understanding" roster joke anymore, but that's probably a good thing.
Former Jefferson and Florida tight end Trent Pupello, said to be getting his first look at defensive end, is now listed as a defensive tackle, which probably suits his 6-foot-2, 276-pound frame. Again, Pupello would need a hardship waiver to play this fall, so it doesn't matter too much whether he's a tackle or an end.
For you roster-number junkies, eagerly hoping to update your video game databases, I can offer a few morsels of who's wearing what this spring: Pupello is wearing a very un-DT number, 44; another January addition, safety Charlton Sinclair, will wear No. 31, and the new walk-on running back, Joel Miller, will wear No. 37.
And yes, the NFL combine workouts are this weekend in Indianapolis, with Mike Jenkins, Trae Williams and Ben Moffitt representing USF. It looks like Moffitt might have dropped some weight since his USF days, as he was listed at 245 pounds at USF, but his bio page at NFL.com has him down at 231. Should have official heights and weights in the next day or so. Turns out the Big East football schedule likely won't get unveiled until Monday ...