Spring football: Day 2 report
Though most of USF's defensive line depth chart will be different in 2014, the expectations won't.
In fact, Chuck Bresnahan expects to replenish so effectively at his most depleted spot, his goal of producing one of the nation's top 10 defenses remains intact.
"That's probably the biggest question mark going into this spring practice for us," USF's veteran defensive coordinator said after Friday morning's chilly workout. "Not if we have the talent; we've got the talent there. It's who really steps forward and takes control."
Last season's two starting ends -- redshirt sophomore Aaron Lynch and senior Tevin Mims -- both recently completed modest performances at the NFL Scouting Combine. The two primary backups, JuJu Forte and Ryne Giddins, also were seniors.
Inside, tackle Luke Sager also graduated and junior James Hamilton has been moved to the offensive line, leaving seniors Todd Chandler and Elkino Watson as the only experienced
Chandler and Watson have appeared solid in the initial two days of spring drills. Sophomore tackle Derrick Calloway appears to be making an impression, as does redshirt freshman Bruce
Hector, a former Robinson High standout who has added roughly 15 pounds (to 289).
Watson appears to possess the agility to slide outside, where junior college transfer Demetrius "Shawn" Hill also is making noise.
"No one's stood out yet, and...we're not in pads," Bresnahan said. "So I could have these shorts All-Americans and it doesn't mean anything. I can't wait 'til (Saturday) to put the pads on and start to really evaluate it, but I'm impressed with what I see so far."
LOCALS MAKE STRIDES: Though new offensive coordinator/line coach Paul Wulff notes no practical depth chart really exists yet, two locals -- Cameron Ruff (Jesuit) and Mak Djulbegovic (Carrollwood Day) -- clearly are in contention for the two-deep rotation.
Ruff, a redshirt freshman 309-pounder, is working at guard. Djulbegovic (6-5, 293) has been
lining up at second-team right tackle.
"Mak has been working really hard in the offseason. Ever since he's been here, he's one of the hardest workers on the o-line," senior LT Darrell Williams said.
"Cam Ruff continues to get better every day. Me and Brynjar (Gudmundsson) were talking about
it the other day; he's grown so much since his redshirt year and he continues to impress. ...
They have a chance to play, yes."
TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE: Sophomore LB Nigel Harris, among the Bulls' top offseason weight
gainers, has been joined this spring by older brother Brandon, a walk-on fullback who played
at Jacksonville Wolfson.
"He's going to come out here and do some big things for us, I know he is," Nigel said.
He'll have a hard time upstaging his sibling's debut season. Thrust into action due to injuries last fall, Nigel Harris started six games, finishing with 35 tackles and a forced fumble. He is listed this spring at 215 pounds, 25 more than he weighed in 2013.
His favorite source of calories? "It's kind of not good, but I like McDonald's a lot," he said. "But I don't overdo it. I eat my vegetables; it's always good to eat your vegetables."
ODDS AND ENDS: The Bulls are expected to be in pads for Saturday's 3 p.m. workout, which is
open to the public. ... During a two-minute drill with the second-team offense Friday, QB
Mike White went 5-for-9 for 32 yards, capped by redshirt freshman Emilio Nadelman's 49-yard
field goal. ... Former Northeast High star Auggie Sanchez, a redshirt freshman, is transitioning from fullback to linebacker this spring. "There's another guy that's played the position that really is a natural when it comes to football," Bresnahan said. "He's just got to learn the details of our defense."
AUDIBLE: "The depth chart really isn't one to be honest. We're doing everything we can just
to play and get every individual better, and that stuff will sort itself out in time. There's
no reason to worry about that right now; the players shouldn't worry about it." -- Wulff