By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA – Camp is a wrap after the Bulls’ starters put on a show in Friday afternoon’s scrimmage at the Frank Morsani Practice Complex.
Skip Holtz’s squad ran through about 40 live plays with USF’s top units shining during game situations that resulted in no turnovers.
“I was really pleased with the way the one are playing on both sides of the ball right now. They look sharp,” Holtz said.
One player that shined brightly on offense was running back Marcus Shaw, who got into the end zone a handful of times during red zone runs. Shaw appears to have a hold on the No. 2 running back job after making plays all camp and his line has appreciated his efforts.
“Shaw can just make a play that’s been broken down into one big, special play and he’s been doing it all camp,” right guard Danous Estenor said.
Shaw has shown flashes of becoming a go-to guy the past two seasons and he said one main thing has helped him consistently play at a high level this fall.
“I matured a lot. I used to be a bad little kid. I understand what I’m here for now,” he said.
Shaw is bound to get a good amount of carries this season if he continues to play at a high level, but the secret to his success might depend on what he does off the field.
“I have to stay healthy, that’s the difference right there,” he said.
Other Bulls that made key plays in Friday’s scrimmage were receiver Chris Dunkley and Andre Davis, who used his leaping ability to snag a touchdown pass from Bobby Eveld early on.
USF has been grinding under the hot sun in camp for three weeks and Holtz blowing his whistle for the final time helped give the team a gratifying feeling.
“It’s like music to my ears. Going through the whole process is like, ‘Oh, man,” but it’s another God-given day to get better with your talent and the gifts that he gave you,” defensive end Ryne Giddins said. “Being done with camp is awesome knowing the things we got accomplished and thing we’re working towards.”
USF went through Friday’s scrimmage without any injuries, much to the enjoyment of Holtz.
“This is the one you’re always worried about for the guy that’s had a great camp and you’re looking for him to have a great year for you. All the sudden he gets dinged in a scrimmage like this,” he said. “This is the one you hold your breath, but you have to do it. The only way to play football is to play football.”
Senior defensive tackle Cory Grissom has the honor of representing USF on the Senior Bowl’s first-ever watch list that was announced on Friday. A total of 309 players from 114 schools made the list.
Senior Bowl invitations will start to be given out in the next few weeks and the process will continue throughout the season. The game takes place Saturday, Jan. 26 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.
“That kid is amazing. We call him ‘Squirrel’ because if you notice a squirrel has fast, quick movements and that’s exactly how he is on the field.” – Ryne Giddins on running back Marcus Shaw.
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