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Offensive line newcomers progressing

Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 00:04

ORACLE PHOTO/BOBBY BISHOP

ORACLE PHOTO/BOBBY BISHOP

The USF offensive line has been reshuffled this spring with the departure of Chaz Hine (79) and an ankle injury to Danous Estenor (60).

One of the biggest challenges for the USF football team’s offense next season will be replacing two starters along the line, center Chaz Hine and guard Jeremiah Warren.

That process is well underway, with rising redshirt sophomore Austin Reiter making a strong claim on the center vacancy.

Reiter drew praise from the coaching staff last year for his advanced grasp on the offense and being a dedicated practice participant, despite not getting on the field very often.

With Hine gone, Reiter is stepping up admirably, but freshman Thor Jozwiak has also earned accolades from coach Skip Holtz.

“I think Austin Reiter has taken that (spot),” Holtz said. “Right now, he’s far and away ahead of everyone else, but then again, he’s been in the program longerthan anyone else and playing that position. I think Thor Jozwiak, as a freshman is doing good things. I really like what Thor is doing. For a true freshman to be playing out there with his confidence, … I really like his attitude.”

Jozwiak redshirted last year, but was limited in practice time by a shoulder injury.

Newcomer Lawrence Martin has the inside track on Warren’s old position of left guard, though he’s been forced to play on the right side this spring by Danous Estenor’s ankle injury.

“It’s probably unfair to Lawrence Martin because he’s been playing the left guard position and, all of a sudden, with Danous being out, we bumped him over to right guard,” Holtz said. “He’s left-handed, so all of a sudden he’s got to get in a right-handed stance. It’s totally new for him since he’s always played on the left side.”

For Martin, who joined the program this winter from Merced College, the switch hasn’t been easy.

“I like it,” he said. “It’s fun, but a lot of work, though. You go from setting from the left to setting with your right (hand). You’re so used to stepping with your left (foot) on a pass set when you’re supposed to step with your right. It’s a big difference. I can’t do anything but work at it because if something happens during the season, I can be able to play it.”

Deadline day for Rudd

On March 19, just a day after the USF men’s basketball team’s season ended with a third-round loss in the NCAA Tournament, redshirt sophomore wing player Victor Rudd Jr. announced his intention to forgo his final two years of eligibility and enter his name in the NBA Draft.

Rudd didn’t hire an agent, though, meaning that he could choose to return to school by a specified date with no penalties. That date is today.

If Rudd does not withdraw his name from draft consideration today, he will no longer be eligible to play college basketball at USF or elsewhere.

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