USF defensive tackle Stirrups dismissed
USF football coach Skip Holtz announced Wednesday that senior defensive tackle Leslie Stirrups, who played sparingly last season and was working with the third-team defense, is no longer part of USF's football program due to an unspecified violation of team rules.
Stirrups is the second player dismissed since Holtz became USF's coach in January, following running back Mike Ford. Both were highly rated players out of high school -- Stirrups was a four-star recruit out of Tampa's Hillsborough High before going to two junior colleges in Mississippi.
Despite numerous injuries at his position, Stirrups totaled only nine tackles at USF as a junior in 2009, including one tackle for a loss. Holtz last week mentioned the defensive line as position with significant depth, with as many as 12 players in position to rotate into game action. Stirrups' absence hurts the depth at defensive tackle, which currently has senior Terrell McClain and junior Keith McCaskill as starters, with redshirt freshman Luke Sager and sophomore Cory Grissom as the top backups.
Stirrups' once-promising career has had its share of off-field problems. He did not qualify academically out of high school, then was arrested in 2006 on six felony counts relating to auto burglaries, though charges were eventually dropped after he completed a pre-trial intervention program. He has one year of eligibility, but can only transfer to a Division II or NAIA school if he wants to play this fall.