Father knows best

USF football’s spring practice completed its second day Wednesday with a notable absence and a key return.

The absentee was Carlton Hill, out for almost all of practice because of class.

Returning 7-year-old Lawrence Dawsey Jr. – back for another day of his spring break to spend time with his dad, the wide receivers coach of the same name.

“He comes out during the season on certain days to get my father-son time in,” Dawsey said. “With the job taking up so much time, you still want to have time for family.”

Since first arriving at USF two years ago, Dawsey has been a assistant for coach Jim Leavitt, who is known for giving his assistants a lot of responsibility. During the fall, Dawsey said he works up to 16 or 18 hours every day.

“The spring, it isn’t as hectic,” Dawsey said. “I get in around 8:30 (a.m.) and leave about 10:30 at night.”

Dawsey added that work is still on his mind even after he goes home, leaving little time for family. Dawsey is thankful Leavitt recognizes that.

“Coach Leavitt is so kind,” Dawsey said. “He always says ‘Bring your family around.'”

And Dawsey does.

Lawrence Jr. ran around unoccupied portions of the practice field and played catch with junior receiver Amarri Jackson toward the end of practice, without dropping any of Jackson’s tosses.

Prior to his coaching career, Dawsey was a wide receiver in the NFL for eight seasons and was named Sports Illustrated Rookie of the Year in his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for leading the team with 55 catches for 818 yards.

Lawrence Jr. has the pedigree to follow in his father’s footsteps – if Dawsey would allow it.

“I’m trying to keep him away from football right now,” Dawsey said. “I’m waiting for him to get a little bit older, get some meat on him.”

But he may not be trying as hard as he says. Although Dawsey admits he is “always thinking about the job,” he recognizes the good effects his work has on his son.

“It’s a give and take. If I didn’t work here he wouldn’t have an opportunity to be around these great guys,” Dawsey said. “Like Andre Hall, for instance – the type of guy (Lawrence Jr.) loves. He got to hang out with Andre during the season.”

Even though Dawsey is focused on building a solid group of receivers, he’s grateful for having his son around.

“He loves the sport,” Dawsey said. “It’s an opportunity to keep him around the game and give him some time with me.”

Leavitt addressed Hill’s absence.

“Carlton had classes. He had classes today and tomorrow, which means we have to get him extra work in,” Leavitt said. “He won’t be back until (the) Saturday (scrimmage).”

With Hill gone for class, senior Pat Julmiste ran the bulk of the offense in the drills. Sophomore Matt Grothe completed most of his passes, including some medium-range throws over the middle to S.J. Green and sophomore tight end Cedric Hill, who was shaken up during practice.

Freshman backup running back Moise Plancher sat out the last half of practice after a leg injury suffered during a goal-line drill in which Plancher was not touched.

“Looked like (Plancher) hurt his hamstring,” Leavitt said. “I know how bad it is, and it looks like we’re just going to have to see.”

– Tony Marquis