Notes: CB Robbins making push to start as freshman
USF football still has sophomore Kenneth Durden and senior walk-on Brandon Salinas working as the starting cornerbacks, but coach Willie Taggart said true freshman Lamar Robbins is making a push not only to play this fall, but to do so as a starter.
"I tell you what, Lamar Robbins is making a strong push," he said. "Kid's really talented. I watched him out there again against Andre Davis, and he held his own. That was good to see -- the kid plays with so much confidence. You have to have a lot of confidence at that position, and he's full of it. He's making a strong push for it, but it's not over with. Those guys are going after it."
-- Sophomore guard Thor Jozwiak, who has been sidelined after having "skips in his heartbeat," has joined the team in Vero Beach, though he hasn't been cleared to practice yet. He's taking a new medication they hope will help address any concerns about his health, but the priority is making sure he's healthy before any kind of return. "It's so important when you're dealing with your heart that we're doing what's best for Thor," he said. "We have to not be selfish and rush him back."
-- With Jozwiak out, Taggart said sophomore Brynjar Gudmundsson and senior Lawrence Martin are working as first-team guards. Senior Steven Jacques as also seen first-team reps, with sophomore Max Lang working with the second-team line earlier in the week.
-- More freshmen catching Taggart's eye? He said offensive lineman Dominique Threatt is playing well. "It's not often you get an offensive lineman that comes in and can get things done, but Dominique Threatt and (Jesuit's) Cameron Ruff, both of those guys have been very impressive," said Taggart, who said they could play this fall. He also is giving a long look to freshman Emilio Nadelman, who joined the team in January and is pushing junior Marvin Kloss, a former walk-on, for the starting job on field goals and extra points.
-- Taggart said he'll have a "tough decision" at strongside linebacker, where sophomores Tashon Whitehurst and Zack Bullock are neck and neck, bringing some speed to the position as well. Bullock forced a fumble in Thursday's morning drills and caught Taggart's eye doing that.
-- Taggart, on him not liking players walking during practice, for really any reason. "I tell our guys, if you don't know where we're going, just run in a circle until you figure out where everybody's going," he says. "If we run in practice, then we don't have to run after."