GAINESVILLE — Because RB Matt Jones, a former Armwood High standout, still is not fully recovered from his viral infection, Gators offensive coordinator Brent Pease has seen a new weapon emerge in the backfield: Valdez Showers.
Pease envisions Showers, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound redshirt sophomore who converted from cornerback this offseason, fulfilling an all-around role in the offense similar to what Omarius Hines did for UF in 2012.
Although the 6-2, 217-pound Hines was known for his strength and physicality, Showers has developed into more of a scatback.
"He's a little different than Omarius because he's probably got a lot more quickness," Pease said. "He's a little bit more elusive because of his size."
In Jones' absence, Showers has been No. 3 on the running back depth chart behind Mack Brown and Mark Herndon, a sophomore walk-on who earned a full scholarship Tuesday.
Injury update: Freshman DB Vernon Hargreaves III (sprained shoulder) is expected to join the team soon, defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin said. Hargreaves, a Wharton High graduate and five-star recruit, sprained his shoulder Aug. 14.
USF: QBs disappoint
TAMPA — Ten days before the season opener, USF coach Willie Taggart said the absence of one quarterback emerging from the pack has been disappointing.
"No one has separated themselves," Taggart said on the Tim Brando Show on Sirius Radio. "I think we have guys capable of doing it, but no one has stepped up and said, 'Hey, I'm going to make this an easy decision for Coach Taggart to make.' … What I'm looking for, I'm not necessarily getting right now."
Taggart has said the two who were at spring drills — senior Bobby Eveld and sophomore Matt Floyd — are ahead of Penn State transfer Steven Bench and freshman Mike White because of their familiarity with the offense.
TRANSFER: WR D'vario Montgomery, who left the team last week, has transferred to Iowa State, where he will have three years of eligibility after sitting out this season. "I want to thank everybody who did anything for me from USF. I just feel like it's time to go," Montgomery said.
Returns: Two players sidelined much of the past week — DT Luke Sager (hip) and S Jalen Spencer (shoulder) — practiced Wednesday.
Greg Auman, Times staff writer
FSU: No QB set yet
TALLAHASSEE — FSU held its final preseason scrimmage, but coach Jimbo Fisher said he was not yet ready to name his new starting quarterback.
Fisher said a decision between redshirt freshman Jameis Winston and sophomore Jacob Coker won't come for another few days, but could come before next week.
"I'll wait until the film," said Fisher, who has said the scrimmage would serve as the final evaluation piece.
"From a standing-from-the-sidelines standpoint, both guys handled the huddle well, made plays, got the ball down the field vertically and dumped it off," Fisher said of the QB play in the scrimmage.
UM: Backfield move
CORAL GABLES — One of the Hurricanes' noteworthy depth chart changes was freshman Walter Tucker going from linebacker to fullback, where he will play behind entrenched senior starter Maurice Hagens.
Tucker, who will compete in the hurdles for the track team, was likely moved because redshirt freshman RB Danny Dillard is no longer with the program.