TAMPA — Former Hillsborough and USF football player Terrence Mitchell was arrested early Tuesday morning and faces three misdemeanor charges, including driving under the influence and assault.
Mitchell, 22, was suspended from USF by coach Willie Taggart after a March arrest on a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana, for which he entered into a pretrial diversionary program. That agreement could be affected by Tuesday's charges. Mitchell was expected to transfer to Fort Hays State in Kansas, but did not enroll for fall classes.
According to the arrest report, Tampa Police found Mitchell at 1:26 a.m. near Busch Gardens, "passed out in the driver seat of a vehicle that was running and in drive while facing the wrong way," west in an eastbound lane; he admitted he consumed alcohol.
While being evaluated by Tampa Fire Rescue personnel, Mitchell "became agitated," according to the report, and "twice attempted to bite an EMT."
Mitchell was charged with DUI 0.15 after registering a 0.171 and 0.165 according to arrest reports, both more than double the level at which a driver is deemed too impaired to drive safely. He was held on $1,250 bond.
Starting spot: P Mattias Ciabatti (Hillsborough), who was placed on scholarship this fall, has been named the starter. "He's competed in the past pretty well, so I think he was looking forward to the opportunity to be the man," special teams coach Stu Holt said Tuesday. "We're excited about where he's at right now and his approach."
STAYING HOME: Junior WR Andre Davis of Jefferson High said he is impressed with the number of local recruits joining USF. The most recent is Plant DB Mazzi Wilkins, who orally committed Monday, giving USF seven from Tampa Bay in the Class of 2014. "I'm just happy that kids that kids are staying close and wanting to (play) for the hometown in Tampa," Davis said. "(Taggart) has been doing a good job recruiting the Tampa area."
Greg Auman, Times staff writer; Jeff Odom, Times correspondent
UF: Walk-on rewarded
GAINESVILLE — Florida coach Will Muschamp, a former walk-on at Georgia, awarded a scholarship to walk-on RB Mark Herndon, and renewed the scholarship of former walk-on DB Tim Clark. The decision left Herndon, a 5-foot-9, 194-pound sophomore from Ocala extremely emotional. "It brought tears to my eyes," Herndon said. "The first thing I did is called my mom and told her and she was ecstatic about it. I'm just trying to soak it all in right now."
STILL WAITING: One day after a medical evaluation, RB Matt Jones, who is recovering from a viral infections, was at practice, but still is not practicing with the team, athletic officials said. "It's really exciting because everybody misses, him," Herndon said.
Antonya English, Times staff writer
FSU: Scrimmage today
TALLAHASSEE — Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said this week he will be ready to decide on a starting quarterback, either redshirt freshman Jameis Winston and sophomore Jacob Coker, after today's scrimmage. But Fisher didn't give a timetable for when the decision will come and he likely won't talk to the media again until Friday.
Kickoff luncehon: FSU's Alumni Association kickoff luncheon is noon Friday at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center. New athletic director Stan Wilcox is expected to speak.
UM: Camp closed
CORAL GABLES — Miami confirmed redshirt freshman RB Danny Dillard left the program. Also, instead of breaking camp today as planned, coach Al Golden called it closed late Monday.
UCF: Kicking jobs
ORLANDO — Incumbent Shawn Moffitt is the leader in UCF's kicker competition, and redshirt freshman Caleb Houston will be the starting punter.