Spring practice begins: A first look ...
Back from the opening half-hour -- the part open to the media -- of USF's first practice of spring, with a few interesting developments to report. Former Bulls cornerbacks Mike Jenkins and Trae Williams were both watching -- both are getting ready for Friday's pro day workouts for NFL scouts.
-- We told you this morning that tackle Thomas Edenfield would be held out of spring drills due to academic problems. That left walk-ons Jacob Sims and Chaz Hine atop the depth chart at right tackle, but there's a new name to consider. Redshirt freshman Jeremiah Warren, who had previous worked at guard, was lining up as the second-team right tackle on Wednesday. Warren has great size at 6-foot-4, 326 pounds and is one of the stronger players on the team, so makes sense.
-- In case you missed this week's USF notebook, we mentioned that former GA Frank Wintrich is back with the Bulls as associate director of strength and conditioning under Ronnie McKeefery. Another new name in the strength staff: former Bulls tackle Levi Newton, who is working this spring as an undergraduate assistant. Newton had been on roster with the Detroit Lions and spent time in NFL Europa but was limited by injuries.
-- Getting first looks at new players and new coaches: John Hendrick, the new defensive tackles coach, is a vocal guy, getting right in there in drills alongside new ends coach Kevin Patrick. Linebacker Kion Wilson, wearing No. 42, is lining up as the second-team Mike linebacker right now and looks a very solid 235 pounds. Charlton Sinclair is getting his first work in at safety -- secondary coach Troy Douglas, a Jacksonville guy like Sinclair, was riding him hard. Sounds like Sinclair wanted to wear Mike Jenkins' old No. 4 jersey, but they're starting him out with No. 31.
-- This first week of practice is all about setting the tone, so coaches aren't letting players get away with anything -- even players who aren't at USF yet. Jim Leavitt stopped practice to yell at punter Justin Brockhaus-Kann, a signee who will join the Bulls this fall, because he was sitting on the sideline as he watched. Nobody sits at football practice.
-- And just to offer another extreme from the mock-draft world. The same day that Mel Kiper Jr. has Mike Jenkins going 30th, NFL.com's Vic Carucci, another well-respected draft guy, puts out his first mock draft and has Jenkins going eighth to the Ravens. (He has Aqib Talib going 5th to the Chiefs). Just a reminder that these mock drafts are just that -- one of these two well-respected experts is wrong on Jenkins today. We just don't know which one ... we'll have more tonight after practice ends.