USF coach Skip Holtz and his offensive staff are trying to find the pieces that fit at wide receiver.
Taking advantage of the bye week, one of the main goals this week in practice has been finding potential playmakers.
“That’s one of the advantages (to having a bye week). You have a chance to roll some people around,” Holtz said. “Would you put (freshman Stephen) Bravo-Brown there? (Redshirt sophomore) T.J. Knowles is having a good week right now. Do you turn and flip (sophomore) Evan Landi over to X? That’s what we’re looking at this week in practice.”
Wide receivers coach Phil McGeoghan said Wednesday the “swelling has gone down” in senior receiver Dontavia Bogan’s ankle since earlier in the week and he’s optimistic Bogan will be able to play when the Bulls host Western Kentucky on Sept. 25.
But even with Bogan at full strength, receiver is still a position of little depth and much youth. Holtz said this week is about giving the less experienced players game reps.
“We know when we put some of these freshmen out there, they have a long way to go,” Holtz said. “They’re all young guys.”
Freshman walk-on Bravo-Brown, who emerged during camp, is a possibility to start if Bogan is somehow unable to go next Saturday at his normal X position. Other guys like Knowles, sophomores Daniel Bryant, Lindsey Lamar and Joel Miller, senior Faron Hornes and redshirt freshmen Isaac Virgin and Derrick Hopkins are in the mix as the Bulls look to have some of their youth emerge.
“At this point, it’s wide open,” McGeoghan said. “We need some young guys to make some plays. There’s a million names. Somebody needs to assert themselves and say, ‘I’m going to take the reigns at this point and be a marquee guy we can count on.'”
Hitting the road
Because it’s a bye week, Holtz said he and his staff will be on the road recruiting Thursday and Friday.
“It’s very important,” Holtz said of recruiting during a bye week. “You try to do two things at one time. I think it’s important to continue to build the relationships we have with high school coaches and make the evaluations.”
Holtz said the offensive line has been a position of strength this year. “Those five are playing really well together.” … Senior defensive end Craig Marshall (knee) and senior offensive tackle Jake Sims (ankle) sat out their second straight practice, but Holtz said both will be back soon.