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Oracle Insight: Nuggets from spring ball

The Oracle breaks down some current position battles, impressions and concerns for USF, as the team prepares for the spring football game on April 17.

1) How will Lamar be used?

Sophomore Lindsey Lamar is expected to have a more versatile role in the Bulls’ offense next year. Lamar, who spent most of the time at running back last season, is currently listed second on the depth chart at slot receiver behind senior A.J. Love. USF coach Skip Holtz’s offensive philosophy is predicated on getting speed in space, and Lamar runs a 4.3 40-yard dash.

“I love it,” Lamar said of the role. “It makes our team more explosive … whatever I can do to help out my team … they want me to move to defensive back, I will.”

2) Looking at running back

Running back should be an interesting battle heading into the fall, with redshirt freshman Bradley Battles and sophomore Demetris Murray getting looks after Mike Ford was kicked off the team and senior Jamar Taylor was held out of spring football because of academics. Senior Mo Plancher will likely start, but the coaching staff has hinted at using lots of two-back sets.

3) A lot rides on Daniels’ shoulders

Behind sophomore B.J. Daniels, the depth at quarterback is a real concern, said offensive coordinator Todd Fitch. Sophomore Ryan Eppes, a former walk-on, is listed as the backup.

Incoming freshman Jamius Gunsby, a 6-foot-5, athletic quarterback from Georgia, is expected to enroll in the fall and compete for early playing time, however.

“We’ll have to have a backup plan for the fall, and that may include moving players around if we had the long term injury (to Daniels),” Fitch said. “… (Gunsby) has got to get here in the summer and kind of jump in here with both feet. We have to get him prepared as fast as we can.”

There’s good news for fans worried if Daniels will wind up injured. Holtz has stressed that he doesn’t plan on running him nearly as much as former coach Jim Leavitt’s staff. Daniels led the team in rushing attempts last season.

4) New faces impressing

Some new faces that have impressed this spring are redshirt freshman Luke Sager, a former walk-on who is currently listed second on the depth chart at defensive tackle, and redshirt freshman linebacker D.D. Lattimore.

Sophomore starting middle linebacker Sam Barrington suffered a minor shoulder contusion this spring, and in his absence, Lattimore did some good things, Holtz said. Lattimore is listed second on the depth chart at weakside linebacker.

Sophomore cornerback Daniel Bryant, who switched from wide receiver, is listed second behind junior Quenton Washington. Holtz acknowledged defensive line depth as something that stood out to him this spring. Even with the losses of future NFL ends Jason Pierre-Paul and George Selvie, the Bulls have at least 12 healthy players competing this spring for defensive line spots on the