VERO BEACH — USF senior OL Chaz Hine estimates he took "a grand total of 25 snaps" at center this spring as coaches considered their options to replace Sampson Genus, who is now in camp with the Packers.
"It's starting to grow on me. I enjoy it," said Hine, a Newsome graduate who has started 25 games the past two seasons, all at guard. "It's an added responsibility, but that's something I enjoy. It makes me kind of a leader. … I've been a guard for four years, so over the summer I did a lot of snapping, film study at the center position."
With Hine at center, the Bulls have one of their most experienced players running the offensive line; in the spring they had considered using senior Kevin McCaskill, who is a natural center but has not started a game at USF. McCaskill remains an option, but this fall the Bulls have primarily used Hine at center and junior Danous Estenor in his old position at guard.
"I've got to see how Danous progresses at guard, how Chaz handles moving to center," offensive line coach Steve Shankweiler said. "(Hine) is doing fine."
COMES WITH THE JOB: Coach Skip Holtz said USF has its share of bumps and bruises, but nothing significant and nothing he doesn't expect from players as an occupational hazard.
"As I told the players, tell me next time you feel 100 percent. About February," he said. "That's the next time you're going to play without something on your body hurting, whether it's a hamstring, an ankle, a leg, an elbow, a finger, a hand."
THIS AND THAT: USF pushed through afternoon rain, practicing for two hours in wet conditions so as not to conflict with today's two scheduled practices. The Bulls have actual two-a-days just twice this preseason, with today and one day next week. … Senior walk-on DE Rony Delisca, a Wharton graduate who could help on special teams, broke his right hand and worked with a cast on it Monday. He's not expected to miss any games. … Freshman S C.J. Garye was held out of practice with an unknown injury. … James Louis, a receiver from Delray Beach who is transferring after one season at Ohio State due to "family issues,'' said he's considering USF, as well as Miami, Florida State and Florida International. Louis would sit out the 2011 season and then have three years of eligibility.
Times writer Greg Auman can be reached at email@example.com and at (813) 226-3346. Check out his blog at tampabay.com/blogs/bulls and follow him at Twitter.com/gregauman.