The players have yet to put on pads, but injuries are already piling up for the University of South Florida football team. Three of the Bulls players were sidelined over spring break, cutting into the depth of several positions.
Junior wide receiver Colby Erskin – who sat out last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) suffered during the first week of fall practice – will likely miss the entire 2008 season as well.
Erskin tore the same ACL he did last fall while working out at Largo High School during spring break.
“I don’t even know how to say anything to him right now. It just kills me,” USF coach Jim Leavitt said. “He’s such a great kid, and he’s done so much work.”
Leavitt was hopeful that Erskin could return for the season.
“We’re going to be positive and optimistic that we can get him ready for the fall,” Leavitt said. “The only positive about this is that it’s early enough that he has time to get back. So we’re hoping that we can get him back this fall.”
Erskin was not the only Bull to suffer an injury. Junior defensive back Jerrell Young suffered an injury to his hamstring while working out over spring break and was held out of practice Monday.
Sophomore tight end Quincy Okolie will miss all of spring practice after being diagnosed with mononucleosis.
Filling holesThe Bulls are trying to fill several holes left by former starters on the team. The Bulls are looking for depth in new faces.
“We’ve got some holes to fill on the offensive line,” Leavitt said. “We’ve got to find some depth at cornerback. We lost (linebacker Ben) Moffitt in the middle. We lost three defensive linemen. We’ve got a lot of holes to fill.”
Another hole the Bulls have to fill is that of the holder. Former Bulls quarterback Anthony Severino was the holder on field goals and extra points.
“Anthony Severino was so good,” Leavitt said. “You don’t know how many games he won by putting the ball down and getting it ready to be kicked. We have to find a holder that the kickers like, and we’re going to begin working on that tomorrow.”