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Few surprises on first depth chart

Published: Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 22:04

ORACLE PHOTO/JASMINE ABNEY

ORACLE PHOTO/JASMINE ABNEY

The biggest depth chart surprises came in the wide receiver corps, where Terrence Mitchell (left) and Sterling Griffin (right) were placed as backups. The rest of the depth chart contained very few surprises.

The first spring depth chart for the USF football team was released Tuesday, four days before the Bulls line up for their second spring scrimmage, Saturday’s Green and Gold Bowl at Corbett Stadium.

The Oracle breaks down the first chart of the spring:

Quarterback

This position is basically sealed by B.J. Daniels, now a fifth-year senior. Neither of the backups, Bobby Eveld and Matt Floyd, are expected to provide a strong challenge to Daniels, though they are challenging each other. Eveld and Floyd were listed as co-backups on the depth chart, with neither beating the other out for the second string. Eveld regressed last season while Floyd was redshirting.

Running back

Demetris Murray earned the top spot as the Bulls’ most experienced back, but it was one of their most inexperienced who placed second on the depth chart, with converted back Lindsey Lamar earning a tie with Marcus Shaw for the second string back spot. Bradley Battles and Willie Davis appear to be far behind at this point.

Wide receiver

This position is somewhat surprising, as Andre Davis, Ruben Gonzalez and Victor Marc earned the top spots in a three-receiver set for USF. Sterling Griffin is listed behind Davis, with Deonte Welch listed behind Gonzalez and Terrence Mitchell behind Marc. Florida transfer Chris Dunkley, who sat out last season due to NCAA rules, is listed on the third-team offense, along with Derrick Hopkins.

Tight end

This is a very deep position for the Bulls, with Evan Landi and Jeff Hawkins earning the top spots in a two-tight end set. Isaac Virgin and Mike McFarland are listed as backups, with Andreas Shields and Jake Carlton below them. Don’t forget Sean Price, a four-star recruit who will join the team in the fall.

Offensive line

The offensive line listed on the depth chart is unlikely to be USF’s opening day lineup, with Mark Popek, Damien Edwards, Austin Reiter, Lawrence Martin and Quinterrius Eatmon listed as the starters from left tackle to right. Danous Estenor, who has been sidelined with an ankle injury this spring, is expected to be the starting right guard, allowing Martin to move to his natural left guard position.

Defensive line

Ends Ryne Giddins and Julius Forte, along with tackles Cory Grissom and Luke Sager, are listed as the starters on USF’s defensive line. The only real surprise is that Elkino Watson, who excelled at tackle as a true freshman last season, is considered a backup at this time. Tevin Mims, Todd Chandler and Anthony Hill are on the second line along with Watson.

Linebackers

Not much has changed at this level of the defense, with the same trio of starters from last season — Sam Barrington, Michael Lanaris and DeDe Lattimore — projected as starters again. Lattimore is listed as backup middle linebacker ahead of Barrington, meaning the staff likely has more faith in Mike Jeune’s ability to play weakside than Reshard Cliett’s ability to play strongside.

Secondary

This is a position of significant change for USF, which has to replace starters Quenton Washington and Jerrell Young. Listed as first-teamers along with expected cornerback starter Kayvon Webster are free safety Mark Joyce, strong safety JaQuez Jenkins and junior college transfer cornerback Fidel Montgomery, who grabbed the last spot ahead of Kenneth Durden and Joshua Brown. The safeties are likely to change with last year’s starter Jon Lejiste listed on the third team due to injury.

Specialists

Maikon Bonani and Marvin Kloss retain their respective duties as place kicker and kickoff specialist, but there has been a change at punter, where redshirt freshman Mattias Ciabatti has beaten senior Justin Brockhaus-Kann on the depth chart. This change is not surprising, as Brockhaus-Kann struggled late last year.

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