1. USF Bulls

Plant's Jordan Reed in mix for punt-return gig

With punt returner Hassan Childs (torn right ACL) sidelined for the season, the Bulls are considering turning to a freshman to fill the vacancy.

Linebackers/special teams coach Raymond Woodie said Thursday former Plant High standout Jordan Reed currently leads the tight competition, which also includes Tampa Bay Tech alumnus Tajee Fullwood and receivers Tyre McCants and Chase Whitehead.

Reed, a consensus three-star prospect, had 304 yards on punt returns as a Panthers senior last season.

"It's time for someone to step it up," Woodie said. "Out of those four -- going into next week -- we're going to know. ... I really think we're going to find the guy to solidify those spots."

STILL BATTLING: Woodie said the starting kicking job between sophomore Emilio Nadelman and senior Michael Hill (Tarpon Springs) remains up for grabs as the team begins game-week preparations for its Sept. 5 opener against Florida A&M.

Nadelman is USF's only option with collegiate experience, kicking off three times against Western Carolina last season.

"Those guys are battling; we haven't named the starter yet," Woodie said. "Everybody got spoiled with Marvin Kloss (now graduated) and now those guys will get a chance to really get experience."

ODDS AND ENDS: LG Thor Jozwiak (left ankle), injured in the waning minutes of Wednesday's practice at Raymond James Stadium, was in a walking boot during Thursday morning's on-campus workout. ... P Mattias Ciabatti said he has been working on adding an "Aussie-style" rugby kick to his repertoire, hoping it gives him additional hang time.

AUDIBLE: "I would love to use him, but Coach (Willie Taggart) told me, 'I don't think so,' and to find someone else. So that's what I did." -- Woodie when asked if he has considered RB Marlon Mack as an option to field punts.