Surprises abound on first USF depth chart of fall
USF football released its first official depth chart of the preseason, with surprises on both sides of the ball and six true freshmen listed as top backups.
"Obviously, it is a fluid listing with potential changes each day," coach Skip Holtz said in a statement. "We took a hard look at each position and determined how the pieces would fit and we wanted to take a look at some things that we feel might help us be a better overall football team. As I’ve said, I’m really proud of how these players are working right now and I’m looking forward to seeing how these position battles play out through the rest of fall camp."
Most notable of the changes following Monday's scrimmage is a shift on the offensive line, with sophomore Darrell Williams moving up as the starting left tackle, with senior Mark Popek, last year's starter there, sliding over as the starting left guard. There's another shift at linebacker, where sophomore Reshard Cliett, a converted safety, is now listed as the starting strongside linebacker, with last year's starter, senior Sam Barrington, now listed as a co-starter at middle linebacker with fellow senior Mike Lanaris.
USF's true freshman class is all over the depth chart, with six first-year Bulls listed as top backups: receiver D'Vario Montgomery, tight end Sean Price, defensive ends Eric Lee and Daniel Perry, weakside linebacker Tashon Whitehurst and cornerback Chris Bivins.
Other notable changes on the depth chart:
-- Senior Damien Edwards, who had been working as the starting left guard, is now listed as Williams' top backup at left tackle.
-- Two projected starters on the defensive line, tackle Cory Grissom and end Julius Forte, are not listed on the depth chart as they just started practicing this week recovering from ankle injuries.
-- In the battle for the field cornerback job opposite Kayvon Webster, senior George Baker and redshirt freshman Kenneth Durden are now listed as co-starters, with another contender, junior Fidel Montgomery, now listed as Webster's top backup.
-- Senior Maikon Bonani, solidly entrenched as the starting place-kicker for field goals and extra points, is also listed as co-starter to handle kickoffs with walk-on Marvin Kloss, who had the job last year. Rule changes involving kickoffs and touchbacks could encourage a shorter, more accurate kickoff, since touchbacks will give opponents the ball on their 25-yard line now.
-- A slew of jobs are still very much up for grabs, with no less than 13 spots -- nine on offense -- where there's an "or" listed on the depth chart, suggesting a dead-even position battle with less than three weeks before the Sept. 1 season opener against Chattanooga.
Here's the depth chart in full, with co-starters or co-backups listed together with a slash:
WR: Andre Davis, Ruben Gonzalez/D'vario Montgomery
LT: Darrell Williams, Damien Edwards
LG: Mark Popek, Lawrence Martin
C: Austin Reiter, Thor Jozwiak
RG: Danous Estenor, Brynjar Gudmundsson
RT: Quinterrius Eatmon, Max Lang
TE: Andreas Shields/Evan Landi, Sean Price/Mike McFarland
WR: Terrence Mitchell/Sterling Griffin, Chris Dunkley
WR: Victor Marc, Deonte Welch/Derrick Hopkins
QB: B.J. Daniels, Matt Floyd/Bobby Eveld
RB: Demetris Murray/Marcus Shaw, Lindsey Lamar/Willie Davis
FB: Jeff Hawkins, Chris Breit/Spencer Cavalieri
DE: Ryne Giddins, Eric Lee
DT: Luke Sager, Todd Chandler
DT: Elkino Watson, Demi Thompson
DE: Tevin Mims, Daniel Perry
SLB: Reshard Cliett, Zack Bullock
MLB: Sam Barrington/Mike Lanaris
WLB: DeDe Lattimore, Mike Jeune/Tashon Whitehurst
CB: Kayvon Webster, Fidel Montgomery
SS: JaQuez Jenkins, Ernie Tabuteau
FS: Mark Joyce, Jon Lejiste
CB: George Baker/Kenneth Durden, Chris Bivins
P: Mattias Ciabatti, Justin Brockhaus-Kann
PK: Maikon Bonani
KO: Maikon Bonani/Marvin Kloss
LS: David Burdetsky
PR: Terrence Mitchell
KR: Lindsey Lamar