Which newcomers play on USF defensive line?
Now that freshman defensive ends Ryne Giddins and Julius Forte have been cleared by the NCAA and junior Jason Pierre-Paul has joined the team after missing the first two weeks, there's an intriguing question to be answered in the next month or so: How many of the newcomers on d-line will play this season?
Defensive tackle Leslie Stirrups is almost sure to play, but the other three all have redshirt years available. With defensive line as perhaps USF's deepest position -- start with seniors George Selvie and Aaron Harris, then juniors Craig Marshall and David Bedford and sophomore Patrick Hampton, all competing in the top rotation -- there isn't an overwhelming need to add much more to what is already a talented group.
Reporters haven't seen practice in two weeks, so it's hard to know who has shown the most, or who is in best position to contribute on special teams to make better use of playing this fall. Pierre-Paul is behind from joining the team late, but Giddins and Forte just missed nearly a week of practice waiting for the final OK from the NCAA. Would you play all three to put the most talent on the field in a year where the Big East is wide-open? Or look to the future and give at least one a redshirt to build depth in future seasons?
USF's first three games -- against I-AA's Wofford and Charleston Southern and I-A newbie Western Kentucky -- should give ample opportunity to play backups and establish which reserves can play at a high level. Whether Giddins, Forte or Pierre-Paul will be part of that group remains to be seen ...