While injuries haven't reached pestilent proportions at USF this August, the Bulls hardly are entering their inaugural game week of 2015 unscathed.
Reserve rover (strong safety) Hassan Childs sustained a torn right ACL at a recent practice and will miss the season, Coach Willie Taggart reported Wednesday. A junior with three career interceptions, he becomes the Bulls' second ACL casualty this month, joining redshirt freshman WR Stanley Clerveaux.
"It (stinks) for the kid, but it's part of the game," Taggart said after Wednesday morning's workout at Raymond James Stadium, where the Bulls essentially ran through their game-day routine in shells.
"We heal differently around here, so we expect for him to be back sooner than what the doctors say, but to be back stronger than what he is now too."
Fortunately for Taggart, the secondary remains one of the Bulls' deepest areas.
Former area prep standouts Tajee Fullwood (Tampa Bay Tech) and Devin Abraham (East Lake) appear capable of playing both safety spots, and projected starting rover Nate Godwin recently returned from a hamstring injury.
Elsewhere Wednesday, starting LG Thor Jozwiak sustained an apparent left ankle injury moments before practice ended, but limped off on his own power.
THOMAS EMERGES: with redshirt freshman Nick Holman (ankle) still sidelined for now, mid-year enrollee Danny Thomas has emerged as the backup to MLB Auggie Sanchez, linebackers coach Raymond Woodie said.
A three-star recruit from Tallahassee Godby, Thomas was a third-team Class 5A all-state pick in 2014, collecting 14.5 tackles for loss and six sacks. "He's a freshman, but he's not playing like a freshman," Woodie said. "He's showing ownership."
Holman, meantime, is expected back early next week, Woodie said. Watch for him to double-train at both linebacker spots.
ODDS AND ENDS: Following practices Thursday and Friday, the Bulls will take Saturday off before entering game-week preparation Sunday. Monday normally will be an "academic day" with no practice, Taggart said. ... With upperclassmen Nigel Harris and Tashon Whitehurst suspended the first two games, fifth-year senior C.J. Garye (six career tackles) would start at "stinger" (weakside linebacker) if the Bulls played today, Woodie said. ... The final 20 minutes of Wednesday's practice (the only portion open to reporters) included new starting QB Quinton Flowers finding Rodney Adams down the right side in single coverage for a 40-yard TD.