TAMPA — Tight end Andreas Shields, who was working with the first team, left practice Thursday wearing a boot on his ankle, an injury that USF coach Jim Leavitt said the redshirt freshman suffered during Wednesday's scrimmage.
Leavitt said an X-ray was negative, but he wasn't sure if Shields would return for the opener against Wofford on Sept. 5. Leavitt said if Shields is unavailable, the starting job would likely go to Ben Busbee.
New home for now: TE Gerard Atkins of Dixie Hollins, who signed with USF in February but was not admitted into school, will attend St. Petersburg College this fall with plans to join the Bulls in January, according to Dixie Hollins coach Mike Morey.
Atkins, who drew interest from Louisville and had a scholarship offer from Wyoming, was told by USF's academic committee that if he takes a full 12-hour course load at St. Petersburg College this fall and maintains at least a C average, he would be admitted to USF in January.
Another USF signee who wasn't admitted, S Ivan Nicholas of Jacksonville, has started classes at ASA Institute, a junior college in Brooklyn, N.Y., his father said. Nicholas will spend two years at ASA and intends to go to USF in 2011, his father said.
Freshman RB Bradley Battles was not at practice, and Leavitt said Battles had gone home for a few days due to an issue with the NCAA Clearinghouse. Leavitt said he expects Battles to be cleared and soon back with the team, potentially as early as this weekend.