Three injured, one inactive at practice

Spring practice is in full swing for the South Florida football team. Tuesday was the sixth practice of the spring, but Bulls coach Jim Leavitt already gave his team the feel of what workouts will be like in the fall.

“The guys had a pretty good practice today,” Leavitt said. “We went through our first five (practices) and really didn’t feel like we were playing at a high level. I felt like we needed to work a lot harder, and we raised it to another level today.”

With the added intensity of the workouts, however, came injuries. Four players were either inactive or injured during Tuesday’s practice.

Senior safety Danny Verpaele – who was competing with Carlton Williams to be the team’s starting safety – had a walking boot on his left foot and did not practice. In 2005, Verpaele broke the same foot and missed the entire season.

“He has a sprained foot,” defensive coordinator Wally Burnham said. “We took some X-rays, and they put him in a boot. It’s one of those deals where they want to rest him a day or two, or maybe the rest of this week. He might be out next week, or he might be back tomorrow. It’s a day-to-day deal.”

The diagnosis was not as optimistic for the players who left practice to receive medical attention. The three players injured Tuesday were running backs, suddenly depleting the position of depth.

Junior running back Moise Plancher – whose cousin Ereck Plancher, a wide receiver for the University of Central Florida, died March 18 – suffered a serious injury to his elbow during position drills.

“We lost Moise Plancher today. He broke his elbow,” Leavitt said. “Moise has gone through more than anybody I can think of, and it’s going to be tough for him.”

Sophomore fullback Richard Kelly suffered a broken right hand early in practice, Leavitt said.

Another sophomore – running back Aston Samuels – suffered a dislocated shoulder.

“He popped his shoulder out,” Leavitt said. “But we were able to pop it back in. We’ll hold him out tomorrow, obviously, and then we’ll have to wait and see.”

Leavitt was disappointed by the injury, because Samuels was being worked at two different positions.

“We were trying to work him at both receiver and running back,” Leavitt said. “He’s been doing some good things.”

Injuries were not the only concern for Leavitt. On the defensive side of the ball, he was worried about filling the void left by former linebacker Ben Moffitt.

“From my standpoint, I’m concerned about the middle linebacker position. I’m really concerned,” Leavitt said. “Ben Moffitt was a tremendous player and a tremendous leader. It’s going to take somebody really special to take that man’s place because, he was a special player.”