Even though his players may still use it, USF coach Jim Leavitt said he’s officially going to retire from the new social networking phenomenon known as Twitter.
“I’m not going to do it anymore,” Leavitt said at Tuesday’s press conference. “I said when it first started, people will get excited about it then find something else. It just seems like something they probably shouldn’t do. If I’m going to ask my players not to do it during (games), I’m just going to stop. My Twittering days are over.”
As for his players, Leavitt said he didn’t know exactly how to respond to them since there was never a team policy in regards to Twitter. He certainly isn’t going to condone it.
“There hasn’t been (a policy) because I’ve never been in that situation,” Leavitt said. “When I read in the paper and heard about some guys doing that, I thought, ‘How should I respond?’ It’s probably something I really don’t want.”
The discussion stemmed from a few players who posted messages from their Twitter accounts prior to Saturday’s season opener against Wofford at Raymond James Stadium.
Wide receiver Carlton Mitchell posted two messages during the rain delay just an hour before kickoff.
“I think I did it at more appropriate times,” Leavitt said. “Five in the morning Saturday or Sunday is probably a little more appropriate than the other times. Just to be a role model, I’m not going to do it. That’s it for me, and hopefully it is at certain times for other players. We’ll see.”
Young could get plate, Leavitt ‘optimistic’
Leavitt said Tuesday that there is still no timetable on the return of sophomore safety Jerrell Young, who broke his right arm in Saturday’s opener against Wofford.
Young will not play Saturday, when the Bulls take their first road trip to Western Kentucky, Leavitt said.
“We’ll probably end up putting a plate in there to try to heal it up quicker,” Leavitt said. “We’re going to be optimistic after (Saturday’s game) and see what we can do to get him going. It’s certainly a big loss for us but those things happen. You’ve got to have other guys prepared to play.”
Freshman Jon Lejiste, a possible replacement, played well Saturday, said USF defensive coordinator Joe Tresey.
“He did his job,” he said. “Against (Wofford), we talked about being assignment sound. He didn’t guess. When you’re the next man in, you have to be able to play at the same level the guy you replaced played at. Jon did that.”
Young’s absence could affect how USF sets up on defense. The Bulls used mostly a five defensive back nickel set against Wofford, with sophomore Quenton Washington and freshman Kayvon Webster at cornerback, while senior Jerome Murphy played the nickel.
Murphy is listed as the No. 2 strong safety on the depth chart. If Murphy moves to strong safety in place of Young, Lejiste or sophomore Tyson Butler would likely play at nickel, Tresey said.
“We’ve cross-trained our kids a lot,” Tresey said. “Butler, Murphy, Lejiste all know nickel. Murphy knows corner, nickel and safety. (Nate) Allen knows both safeties. Even Webster played some nickel during the summer.”
Sims to start Saturday
Throughout training camp, it was a back and forth battle at right tackle between redshirt freshman Mark Popek and senior Jake Sims.
Sims started Saturday as Popek was still recovering from the flu, which kept him out of practice for three days last week. Leavitt said the team will use the same starting line against Western Kentucky.
Sims started 11 games last year but was limited by a neck injury during fall camp, giving Popek a chance to be the starter. Popek was listed as first-team on USF’s last updated depth chart.
“Jake’s in there pretty good,” Leavitt said. “Even in the game (Saturday), you could tell (Mark) was just weak. He tried to play through it but you could tell he wasn’t healthy. He’s not back. He showed some signs (during Monday’s practice) but Jake’s going to be in there.”