TAMPA - USF changed things up a bit on day two of fall camp, when they split the rosters in half and had morning and afternoon workouts. The decision to split the squads came as a result of the newcomers' class schedule, which would have forced them to miss the morning workout. The Bulls took advantage by getting the players more reps in each individual workout, while allowing them to work at a pace they were comfortable with.
"They can work to the pace of the pack, so to speak," head coach Skip Holtz explained after the morning workout. "With this group, you can go a whole lot faster and throw a lot more at them. With the group this afternoon, we are in the 2+2=4 mode. We are moving slow. We are going to do a lot of teaching this afternoon. I think it is needed."
For the more experienced group, there were a lot of reps to be had, which meant a lot of good work. They could see the value in splitting into two groups.
"It does two things," senior WR A.J. Love said. "It helps the coaches teach the younger guys in a practice, and for us, it maximizes our reps. It gets us up to game speed a little better."
Despite the heat of the morning sun, the Bulls did exactly that as they worked through the two-hour workout at a brisk pace. After lunch and a series of meetings, the younger group was ready to get to work. This time though, some of the players who normally follow the lead of the veterans would need to be the ones setting the example for the newcomers.
"A bunch of us have never had the chance to lead in a practice, but this gave us a chance to lead the younger guys," sophomore DB Ricardo Dixon said. "After watching the older guys go through some of the drills, you could see them picking it up. I think that helped things go pretty smooth. Plus, I'm still a young guy, so it gave me a chance to get some extra reps, while taking what I've learned from the older guys and passing it on to those younger guys."
The Bulls will be counting on a lot of guys to step up once the season hits and teaching opportunities like this are going to make it more likely that they'll be ready when their number is called.
"There are a number of guys on this team that are going to contribute," Holtz added. "We are going to have to continue to do a lot of this as we go through camp. We won't have the split schedules, but we will keep the underclassmen after practice a lot and work with them at the much slower pace."
USF returns 45 lettermen (20 offense/22 defense/three specialists) from the 2010 team along with wide receivers A.J. Love and Sterling Griffin, who had earned letters prior to 2010. That group has combined to play in 883 games.
|Today's question from @USFMatt on Twiiter:
How does he feel about the depth at wide receiver this season as compared to last season? How far along are Griffin and Love?
"All of a sudden, you are four-deep body-wise. Not four-deep and ready to play, but you are four-deep body-wise with adding Love and Griffin to the equation. You add a Welch in there and you throw a Davis and Gonzalez in there, and all of a sudden you are four deep at a position. I think that is really helping us right now creating competition. Having the experience, talent and maturity of Love and Griffin is great for this football team right now."