TAMPA — USF has added a burst of speed at receiver in David Aristil, a three-time All-American in the 400-meter hurdles.
Aristil, who reached the semifinals at the U.S. Olympic trials this summer, joined the Bulls in Vero Beach and has impressed coaches. The senior hasn't played football since high school, when he lettered twice at Boynton Beach Park Vista.
Aristil, 6 feet 2, 190 pounds, used up his track eligibility this spring but has one year of eligibility he can use for another sport.
"I wish I would have had him a little earlier; first year instead of fifth year," Bulls receivers coach Jerome Pathon said. "I think if we had him earlier, he'd have been able to pick up on the techniques.
"There's so much more that goes into football than just running with speed. But he's aggressive, gets involved. There's actually no one on the field who will outwork him."
Aristil's speed translates well to the football field — Pathon said his 40-yard time would be in the "low 4.3s" — so the challenge for coaches is finding ways to prepare him for a limited — but potentially dangerous — role.
"He's very explosive. When you watch him drive off the ball, he starts covering ground really quick. He's quite an addition to this team," Pathon said. "It's a matter of finding a role for him to play. He is athletic enough. He has the speed enough. It's how do we teach him in the next week to be ready?
"Learning plays, learning technique, there are guys I've been working with for eight months that still aren't quite where I need them to be. It's a lot to pick up. I think we're going to work with him. With his speed, he's a great asset for us."
INJURY UPDATE: Freshman LB Tashon Whitehurst, mentioned by coach Skip Holtz as a possibility to play this fall, was on crutches at Fan Fest on Sunday afternoon with a boot on his left foot. Holtz, who was awaiting X-rays, said he could be out as little as a week with a mild sprain or as long as six weeks with a break.