TAMPA — Carlton Mitchell had the jersey first, then Quenton Washington for two more years, but USF junior WR Sterling Griffin is proud to trade his No. 17 jersey for No. 2 this fall.
"I had to be patient and wait until my time came," said Griffin, whose father Steve wore No. 2 as a receiver at Purdue from 1982-85. "I wanted a new start — injured with 17, so I wanted to start fresh. Come back healthy, new number, new change, new focus."
Griffin missed the 2010 season after dislocating his ankle, then missed four games in 2011 with a broken foot, so it's understandable that he'd discard No. 17 for more than just family nostalgia.
"I feel faster. I look better, too," Griffin said, joking.
TICKETS UP: With the Sept. 29 matchup against Florida State perhaps the most anticipated home game in USF history, season ticket sales are up to 21,639, at a pace about 5 percent higher than 2011.
The Bulls released their first season-ticket update Tuesday, with 18,389 sold and another 3,250 reserved for staff, trade and other uses. The total is up from 20,712 at this point last year — USF hasn't made individual game tickets for FSU available, with the hopes that Seminoles fans will buy season tickets, which start at $75. USF-FSU tickets are commanding that much by themselves on the secondary market at sites like Stubhub.com and Ticketcity.com.
RAISES FOR COORDINATORS: As part of Skip Holtz's new contract, the coach has an additional $200,000 allocated for his nine full-time assistants, and coordinators Chris Cosh and Todd Fitch got the largest raises.
Cosh will earn $325,000, up from the $260,000 that Mark Snyder earned in 2011, according to figures released to the Tampa Bay Times by USF on Tuesday. Fitch will make $280,000, up $60,000 from last season. The next-highest raises went to two assistants held over from Jim Leavitt's 2009 staff, running backs coach Larry Scott and defensive tackles coach Kevin Patrick, who each moved from $135,000 to $170,000.