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Fun day leads into first scrimmage for Bulls
Posted Aug 12, 2011 by Adam Adkins
Updated Aug 12, 2011 at 10:36 PM
Here is Friday’s practice report from Tribune correspondent Michael Manganello:
VERO BEACH Friday’s USF football practice had an upbeat mood to it, with players switching jerseys with one another as the team went through a light practice with no pads. The Bulls Olympics also kicked off Friday with the opening ceremonies poolside, but the team will get back to business with the opening scrimmage of the fall season set for Saturday at 1:10 p.m.
“We’re out here in shorts just trying polish things up and get ready for the scrimmage,” Holtz said. “I keep saying it, but I love the attitude, the way these guys are working, the way they’re having fun. They came out here and changed all their jerseys, this is camp.”
Outlining his goals for the scrimmage, Holtz said he’s hoping to continue building the depth chart with the season opener three weeks away.
“The biggest thing from (today’s) scrimmage is the depth,” Holtz said. “We’ve got to make some decisions on who we’re going to start working with…what we’ve got to do in this first scrimmage is figure out where we’re going to draw the line, who’s going to be working with the two’s and three’s, which freshmen we’re going to redshirt and which one we’re going to play.”
A number of Bulls will be unavailable for the scrimmage as they nurse injuries, including defensive tackle Cory Grissom (head; day-to-day), fullback Armando Sanchez (broken left hand; one week), linebacker Kalin Hall (left knee; four weeks) and safety C.J. Garye (knee; day-to-day).
Defensive tackle Demi Thompson is questionable after leaving Friday’s practice with a muscular problem in his lower back.
As for quarterback B.J. Daniels, Holtz is unsure how much action he’ll see in the scrimmage, though he did fully participate in Friday’s practice as he recovers from a minor hamstring injury.
“I don’t know how much I’m going to let (Daniels) go (today),” Holtz said. “The problem with hamstrings is that you really never know when it’s 100 percent healed. The last thing you want to do is put him out there, have him change speeds trying to get away from the pass rush, and of a sudden he pops it and then it’s two weeks (out).”
CHANDLER RISING: Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Todd Chandler says he arrived at USF last summer as immature player carrying a little too much weight. With a year on the sidelines behind him, he’s now poised to make a move up the depth chart.
“Last year I came in a little out of shape and my mind wasn’t where it needed to be to be a Division I football player,” Chandler said. “Over my redshirt year I matured a lot, I got my conditioning level up to par so I’m ready to work this year.”
USF defensive line coach Kevin Patrick has taken notice of Chandler’s renewed work ethic as he fights to earn a spot on the second-team defense.
“He’s gotten himself in better shape, his attention to detail both on and off the field has improved, and that’s played a big part out here in this camp,” Patrick said. “He’s matured, he’s consistent. He’s not just showing up one day and doing it, and I think he’s getting more confident being able to show up every day and doing it. I think he’s going to be able to take the next step.”
Chandler says he’s dropped 42 pounds since reporting to campus last year at 340 pounds but he’s still looking to lose another five or six pounds to get to what he feels is his optimal weight. He was listed as even with Luke Sager for the second-string nose tackle position behind Grissom coming out of the spring.