All of a sudden, there seems to be a lot of people leaving the football team at USF.Let’s check the list of the going, going, gone.
Coaches: co-defensive coordinator Rick Kravitz – headed to N.C. State to replace Manny Diaz as safeties coach. Kravitz was the first assistant ever hired by coach Jim Leavitt.
Players: Johnny Peyton – a wide receiver who is no longer a member of the team. Peyton decided he didn’t have to follow the rules like everybody else. The coaching staff thought otherwise.
Linebackers Josh Balloon and Ronnie McCullough are saying their goodbyes. Both players decided to transfer to other schools.
Running back Chad Simpson: Adios. This freshman out of Miami believed he wasn’t getting enough playing time with the Bulls, according to the Tampa Tribune. He’s also on his way to another institution.
Does this mean that there is something wrong in Bulls country?
No, not really.
During the off-season, every college football team will lose a coach or two as well as a few players. All things considered, the Bulls didn’t suffer any real key departures.
On Tuesday, Wally Burnham was promoted to assistant head coach and now has total control as defensive coordinator. He had previously shared the position with Kravitz.
I’m sorry, but I don’t see Leavitt losing any sleep over Kravitz leaving. Burnham is more than qualified and is one of college football’s great defensive minds.
Burnham was the defensive backs coach for Florida State and helped the squad win a National Championship in 1993. He coached players such as Buffalo’s Marcus Jones and Tampa Bay’s Derrick Brooks, a future Hall of Famer.
Burnham was also defensive coordinator for University of South Carolina before joining USF.The Bulls would have ended up a bigger loser if Burnham had decided to go elsewhere instead of Kravitz.
But what about the players?
Losing four Bulls in such a short period of time might seem like a huge deficit. In reality, a strong recruiting class will erase any memory of these players.
The biggest loss will be Peyton.
He was a top recruit and one of USF’s best receivers. But if you are not a believer in team policy, then you don’t need to be on the team – and good luck finding another team who will take you at the Division-1A level.
Leavitt is respected by many coaches, and the dismissal will not be taken lightly.
The remaining players were backups. That’s not to say they wouldn’t have had stellar careers with USF if they had chosen to stay. Simpson had the chance of being a top back for the Bulls.
Sometimes a player has to have a little patience. Playing behind Andre Hall, the Big East’s leading rusher in 2005, is not an easy thing to do. But Simpson didn’t want to wait. Now he’s taking a big chance, hoping to get more playing time with another team.
I don’t know if he will get the same opportunity as he did with USF, but we’ll see.
Leavitt’s Bulls are a solid bunch. The team is on a fast track headed for success. They will be one of the best football programs in the country.
A few bumps in the road won’t hurt that much.