Touch football: Daniels will play in spring game
When USF announced in February that B.J. Daniels had undergone surgery on his non-throwing shoulder, coach Skip Holtz had said his starting quarterback would be held out of all contact drills and scrimmages.
But Daniels has progressed well enough that he'll get to star in USF's spring game on April 17, getting the same treatment Matt Grothe got a year ago, with a quick whistle from officials and no contact from opposing pass-rushers. It's good news for fans, who should see a more exciting offense in the exhibition with Daniels making plays as USF's only scholarship quarterback this spring.
"We haven't set it yet, but I think it'll be very similar to what our scrimmage was the first week," offensive coordinator Todd Fitch said Wednesday. "He'll be full speed. He'll be in a red jersey. If he gets to a contact point, Coach (Holtz) will have a quick whistle. Coach will tell the officials to keep it quick, and our defense will be instructed if they get a free shot, to two-hand-touch him."
Fitch said he's been pleased with everything Daniels has been able to do this spring, and his physical progress has helped with his ability to pick up the mental aspects of USF's offense.
"Every day, he's been out here full-speed, which has been critical just to learn the verbiage, to get comfortable," he said. "Fifteen days, you're not going to be perfect at it, but it gives you a great springboard going into summer."
Asked for offensive players who have impressed him most this spring, Fitch named running back Demetris Murray, receivers Evan Landi and Lindsey Lamar and tight end Jeff Hawkins.
"Demetris Murray has been very solid, a guy who hadn't had any playing time at the running back position," Fitch said. "He's kind of climbed up the ladder and has been very consistent, had another good scrimmage (last) Saturday. I think Evan Landi, being an every-day receiver and bringing a presence out there. I've been happy with the growth in Lindsey Lamar over a couple of days. Monday we threw him a little screen pass and he dropped it. Today he caught three, one behind him. Just to see people grow like that. Hawkins has been solid. He's not where he needs to be, but every day's been solid. Those are guys that jump out maybe as guys coming from nowhere, so to speak."
Murray has solidified himself as USF's No. 2 running back behind senior Mo Plancher, with Bradley Battles and walk-on Joel Miller battling for the No. 3 spot.
-- Holtz said he is working on playing Saturday's scheduled scrimmage at One Buc Place, the Bucs' practice facility, first to ease the damage on USF's practice fields and to add an element of importance to the scrimmage. Two of USF's final three practices will be game-type situations, with Saturday's scrimmage and the spring game at Raymond James Stadium.
-- For you roster junkies, converted linebacker Chase Griffiths, now working at fullback, is wearing jersey No. 49 in practice.