Sunday, April 22, 2018
Colleges

USF Bulls' cornerback spots among best position battles as camp opens

TAMPA — Players officially report today for coach Skip Holtz's third season at USF, and while his football team doesn't have many starting jobs unclaimed, the biggest position battle is for the second cornerback job opposite senior Kayvon Webster.

"(It's) definitely one that's up in the air," Holtz said this week at the Big East's media day in Rhode Island. "I feel good about it, because we've got like six guys fighting for it that are good enough to play."

Junior Fidel Montgomery, who joined the Bulls in January, might be the player to beat, though defensive backs coach Rick Smith said he was impressed in spring by senior George Baker, who hasn't played consistently enough in game situations to earn the full trust of coaches. Another promising if unproven challenger is redshirt freshman Kenneth Durden.

Holtz's opening-week starter against I-AA Chattanooga is likely to be one of those three.

"I think there's a lot of talent there. It's just the unknown. That has not yet played out," said Holtz, who also wants to solidify the backup linebacker spots. "Other than that, I think we pretty much know who's where. There's still some competition battles going on, but it's (between) two really good players."

At left guard, junior Lawrence Martin, a January enrollee, will challenge senior Damien Edwards, who has played sparingly but came out of spring drills atop the depth chart.

The team reports today and will have two practices in shoulder pads Monday and Tuesday before leaving for Vero Beach, where it will spend 11 days training at the former Dodgertown practice complex. It will return for FanFest at 2 p.m. on Aug. 19 at Raymond James Stadium.

MOURNING A LOSS: Junior walk-on WR Jonny Sitton lost his older brother, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Sitton, 26, who was killed last week while serving in Afghanistan. Holtz extended condolences Friday to the Sitton family and said Sitton — who played for the Bulls in 2010 and spent last season at NAIA Shorter University — can spend as much time as he needs with his family before reporting to camp.

ANOTHER OPTION: Webster said he enters camp as the team's No. 2 option on kick returns, a role he was held out of last season because of a lack of healthy cornerbacks. He had four kickoff returns in his first two seasons and said he'd like the chance to line up deep. Last year's primary returner, RB Lindsey Lamar, also is back.

"I'm definitely going to look into that," Webster said. "I don't mind playing special teams. I actually love special teams."

THIS AND THAT: Reserve CB Ricardo Dixon, limited by injuries the past two seasons, has transferred to I-AA Youngstown State, where he's reunited with former USF defensive coordinator Joe Tresey. His position coach there, USF alum Glenn Davis, was a graduate assistant with the Bulls last year. … Five players graduated Saturday, including two juniors, DT Luke Sager and G John McGhin, who got their degrees in three years. … Walk-on Jordan Duval, arrested last month on a felony grand theft charge and accused of stealing a fellow student's iPhone, was not listed on the fall roster released to the media Tuesday.

Greg Auman can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3346. View his blog at blogs.tampabay.com/usf. Follow him on Twitter at @GregAuman.

Comments
Report: Florida Gators’ Cece Jefferson out four months after shoulder surgery

Report: Florida Gators’ Cece Jefferson out four months after shoulder surgery

Florida Gators defensive lineman Cece Jefferson will be out four months after having surgery on his right shoulder earlier this week, according to a report Wednesday evening from the Gainesville Sun.Jefferson, a 6-foot-1, 242-pound senior, injured th...
Published: 04/18/18
Florida has signed 15 quarterbacks since Tim Tebow. 10 have transferred

Florida has signed 15 quarterbacks since Tim Tebow. 10 have transferred

Tuesday evening's news that quarterback Jake Allen plans to transfer from the Florida Gators isn't a surprise.Allen, a former three-star recruit in 2017, was fourth on the depth chart. The St. Thomas Aquinas product didn't seem to fit new coach ...
Published: 04/18/18
Auden Tate will be the third FSU receiver drafted in 11 years. Why so few?

Auden Tate will be the third FSU receiver drafted in 11 years. Why so few?

When former Wharton High star Auden Tate hears his name called sometime next week, he'll join a surprisingly small group.Recent Florida State receivers drafted into the NFL.Over the past decade, only two Seminoles receivers have been drafted: Rashad ...
Published: 04/18/18
Police suspected FSU’s Deondre Francois intended to sell marijuana

Police suspected FSU’s Deondre Francois intended to sell marijuana

Tallahassee police suspected Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois possessed marijuana with the intent to sell it when they executed a search warrant on his home last week, according to an affidavit.The case — which culminated Thursda...
Published: 04/17/18
Florida State takes over No. 1 spot in 2019 recruiting rankings

Florida State takes over No. 1 spot in 2019 recruiting rankings

Even as Florida State was finishing its first recruiting class under Willie Taggart, the Seminoles were already talking about what they could do in the new staff's first full cycle, for 2019."I can only imagine having a year here to be able to recrui...
Published: 04/17/18
Former five-star back Khalan Laborn rejuvenated after FSU coaching change

Former five-star back Khalan Laborn rejuvenated after FSU coaching change

TALLAHASSEE – Florida State running back Khalan Laborn's breakout 140-yard output in Saturday night's spring game was a sign of what could be for the former blue-chip recruit.It was also a reminder of what almost wasn't for the Seminoles.With a...
Published: 04/16/18
New Orlando football team will welcome Steve Spurrier on Tuesday night

New Orlando football team will welcome Steve Spurrier on Tuesday night

Steve Spurrier will make one of his first appearances in his new role with the Alliance of American Football tomorrow in Orlando.The league will welcome Spurrier as the coach of its Orlando team at an event at Ember (42 W Central Blvd.) at an event f...
Published: 04/16/18
Five takeaways from Florida State’s spring football game

Five takeaways from Florida State’s spring football game

TALLAHASSEE – Judging by the crowd for Florida State's spring game on Saturday, Seminoles fans are excited about the dawn of the Willie Taggart era.The official attendance of 53,974 — a new record for a spring game — inclu...
Published: 04/14/18
Five takeaways from the Florida Gators’ spring game

Five takeaways from the Florida Gators’ spring game

GAINESVILLE —It took some time, but the offense scored points in bunches, much to the delight of the 53,015 in attendance at Florida's spring game.And the Gators had fun doing it, pulling out all the stops with gadgets and celebrations that bro...
Published: 04/14/18
FSU quarterback Deondre Francois faces marijuana complaint

FSU quarterback Deondre Francois faces marijuana complaint

Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois agreed to a pre-arrest diversion program after police found 17 grams of a cannabis/tobacco blend in his bedroom Thursday afternoon.The Tallahassee Police Department previously received a report of drug activ...
Published: 04/13/18