Selmon returns to lineup

Being inactive on the gridiron for two full seasons has only stoked the fire inside defensive tackle Lee Roy Selmon.

“He is just kind of foaming at the mouth to get back on the field and play,” defensive line coach Earl Lane said.

Selmon, son of professional footballNFL Hall-of-Famer and USF athletic director Lee Roy Selmon Sr., has been inactive on the field the past two seasons due to a red shirt season in 2001 and a torn ACL sustained in the summer of 2002 during a pick-up basketball game. Despite the long absence, Selmon and the defensive staff do not believe he has lost any of his previous ability. On the contrary, they say he has just gotten stronger and faster.

“If anything, I have definitely gotten better,” Selmon said. “Even though I was hurt, I continued to get stronger. And when I was able to come back and run, I got faster and more agile. Definitely better.”

Selmon has quickly become the key player among the defensive tackles. With the absence of Tavares Jurineack and Greg Walls, who combined last season for 118 tackles and 10 sacks, Selmon is the starting tackle in on a roster with four freshmen and only two seniors at the Defensive defensive tackle position.

“You want game experience out there on the field,” Selmon said. “Some of us have played a couple of years and now that we’ve got that game experience it’s a matter of getting team chemistry together.”

Selmon has his share of game experience. Plans to redshirt his freshman year in 1999 were changed when starter Ron Johnson was injured. Selmon wound up playing in the last six games of the 99 season, starting the last two. In 2000, Selmon made further progress, playing in 10 games, starting six and leading the Bulls in quarterback pressures with 10. In 2001 Selmon finally utilized a redshirt season but never imagined he would miss all of 2002.

Despite the injury, Selmon appears not to have lost any playing time at USF. He will again be eligible for the 2004 season due to a medical redshirt.

“Next year he is eligible,” assistant head coach Rick Kravitz said. “He got a medical reprieve.”