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Oracle Insight: Players to watch during fall camp


Mama_Bull

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10) Maikon Bonani, sophomore kicker

Holtz tabbed senior Eric Schwartz as the No. 1 kicker on the post-spring depth chart, but the race for kicking duties is far from over. Schwartz, a former walk-on, was one of the feel-good stories of 2009, making 11 of 16 field goals, including the fourth longest in school history with a 50-yard strike against Cincinnati. But let’s not forget about Bonani, the redshirt sophomore who was a feel-good story in his own right two years ago before he was injured after a fall while working at Busch Gardens and was sidelined last season. Bonani, a true freshman at the time, went 15-for-21 in 2008, including the game-winner against then-No.14 Kansas as time expired. “(Bonani) had a good spring … It’s going to be a great competition to see who the starter is going to be,†said special teams coach Vernon Hargreaves.

9) Demetris Murray, sophomore running back

Murray had arguably the best spring of any running back on the roster, surging to No. 2 on the depth chart behind sixth-year senior Mo Plancher.  With running back depth limited after the losses of Mike Ford and Jamar Taylor, Murray helped ease Holtz’s mind. “He’s getting to the point where he can be an every-down back,†Holtz said after a spring scrimmage. It’s not certain how much Murray will be used this season. A new offensive philosophy suggests quarterback B.J. Daniels will be under center more and the Bulls will employ more two-back sets, meaning the possibility of an increase in carries for running backs. Can Murray keep his spring momentum going into the fall? Redshirt freshman Bradley Battles, a touted recruit, could creep into the picture.

8) Sam Barrington, sophomore linebacker

Barrington was injured for much of spring practice, allowing sophomore Mike Lanaris to even the playing field for the starting middle linebacker spot. Barrington, who saw action in all 13 games last season, is viewed by coaches and teammates as a high IQ player who never takes plays off. But talent and work ethic aren’t the questions. Can Barrington stay healthy and separate himself to become the next star middle linebacker at USF? Fall practice should reveal a lot.

7) Jamius Gunsby, freshman quarterback

Who will back up Daniels? Evan Landi is capable at the position, but the receiving corps is thin. The coaching staff will probably want someone other than Landi to step in and make a name for themselves. Gunsby figures to be that guy, even as a true freshman. That begs a few pertinent questions for fall camp: Will Landi split time at receiver and quarterback, and how will Gunsby, a 6-foot-4 run/pass threat who had a scholarship offer to Florida, respond to being the front-runner for the backup spot before attending a single practice?

6) Evan Landi, sophomore receiver

Landi split time between receiver and quarterback last season. He is listed as the backup quarterback on the post-spring depth chart. Depending on the health of some of the injured receivers (Sterling Griffin, A.J. Love), Landi could remain Daniels’ backup while still getting the majority of reps at receiver. For now, though, Landi looks set at receiver. Will that continue even if Gunsby has trouble adjusting? The Bulls must decide whether it is a good idea for Landi to have more than one responsibility. 

5) Todd Chandler, freshman defensive tackle

A blue chip recruit, Chandler expects to contribute in a big way for USF in the future.  But how long will it take him to adjust to the college game? Defensive tackle is a position where few freshmen make an impact in college football. Chandler didn’t have the luxury of spring practice, either, so expecting too much from him this season may be unrealistic. Nonetheless, it should be interesting to see how one of the top recruits in program history progresses as fall practice and the regular season take shape.

4) Sterling Griffin, sophomore wide receiver

A penciled-in starter at receiver this season, Griffin suffered a huge setback with a dislocated ankle and a broken bone in the bottom of his fibula during a voluntary workout in late June. Griffin may not even practice during fall camp, but his progression through rehab is one of the main storylines surrounding the Bulls this fall. USF can’t afford to lose Griffin for an extended part of the season, as the team has little depth and experience at receiver. Senior A.J. Love, another projected starter before being injured, is currently rehabbing a torn ACL in his right knee.

3) Lindsey Lamar, sophomore wide receiver

Used as a backup running back last year, Lamar, who is arguably the fastest player on the team, will be used as a slot receiver this year. With Griffin out, Lamar’s progression becomes more important. It was suggested Lamar responded well to the position change in the spring, and the coaching staff should get a better idea of how he has adapted during fall practice.

2) Ryne Giddins, sophomore defensive end

Giddins received a medical redshirt after an ankle injury ended his 2009 season as a true freshman. One of the top recruits in program history — ranked the fifth best defensive end prospect in the country by ESPN coming out of high school — Giddins has the potential to become one of the best players in USF history: “He has the chance to be as good as anyone we’ve had here,†defensive ends coach Vernon Hargreaves said to Gousfbulls.com. But will this season be the year? Giddins is still just a redshirt freshman, and expecting a breakout year may be a reach. He’s currently listed, along with fellow redshirt freshman Julius Forte, as a second-team defensive end behind senior Craig Marshall on the post-spring depth chart.

1) Terrence Mitchell, freshman cornerback

USF’s biggest recruiting pull of 2010 has a chance to start as a true freshman. The Bulls aren’t deep at cornerback, meaning Mitchell will likely see significant playing time regardless of experience. He has the ability to play safety and is a prime candidate to see the field in nickel coverage. Mitchell likely won’t start at the beginning of the season, as first-team cornerbacks Kayvon Webster and Quenton Washington are solid and each have at least a full year of experience as a starter. But it wouldn’t be too far-fetched if Mitchell eventually overtook one of them. Fall practice should give the coaching staff a good idea of how much of an impact Mitchell, a top 100 recruit, can make this year.

http://www.usforacle.com/oracle-insight-griffin-mitchell-among-storylines-1.2281778

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Thanks mama_bull

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Are we really that thin at corner right now??? I keep seeing this, but, we have Q and Webster returning, both got plenty of time last year. I don't see murph as a huge loss, athlete yes, but he wasn't a huge playmaker in my opinion. Butler has always looked decent to me at corner, and Baker is back there. We're not stacked at the position by any means, but the loss of Nate at safety has me more concerned about that position in the secondary. I think Young, Lejiste, and Skinny will be fine, but that seems like a bigger question to me.

If anything, we're still recovering from the loss of Jenks and Williams at CB, we're no worse this year than we were last.

Otherwise, very good read, I am ready for September...

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Wooohoooo! Fall camp is fast approaching and almost a month out from Stoneybrook. Can't wait to see Lamar getting the ball in space!

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Are we really that thin at corner right now??? I keep seeing this, but, we have Q and Webster returning, both got plenty of time last year. I don't see murph as a huge loss, athlete yes, but he wasn't a huge playmaker in my opinion. Butler has always looked decent to me at corner, and Baker is back there. We're not stacked at the position by any means, but the loss of Nate at safety has me more concerned about that position in the secondary. I think Young, Lejiste, and Skinny will be fine, but that seems like a bigger question to me.

If anything, we're still recovering from the loss of Jenks and Williams at CB, we're no worse this year than we were last.

Otherwise, very good read, I am ready for September...

Im far more concerned with replacing Nate than i can the CB position.  Nate covered up a lot of mistakes back there and was the glue that held the secondary together when it was playing well.  Nate is prolly the biggest loss on the defense IMO. 

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Love Nate, but he couldn't cover up Tyler Roberts or Jerome Murphy's mistakes.

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I'll be closely watching RB Mike Hayes.  Don't know why he didn't make the list.  GB!

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