Post-spring depth chart: competition at linebacker

According to the post-spring depth chart released by USF on Monday, there may be some surprises at linebacker in the fall.

Two linebacker positions have co-starters, with sophomores Sam Barrington and Mike Lanaris sharing the No. 1 position at middle and senior Sabbath Joseph and redshirt freshman DeDe Lattimore sharing the No. 1 position at weakside. Senior Jacquian Williams is listed as the starter at the other linebacker spot.

Barrington missed much of spring drills with a shoulder injury, allowing Lanaris and Lattimore to receive ample playing time.

“They’re coming along very good. Very young, athletic guys,” Joseph, a fifth-year senior, said of the battle at linebacker after USF’s last spring practice April 14. “They don’t have much game experience, but it’s a new defense, so we’re all in a new learning process … I’m trying to help everyone else, and I’m still learning myself.”

Junior Jerrell Young moved ahead of sophomore Jon Lejiste at strong safety, the only other change on defense from the previous depth chart coach Skip Holtz released.

The defensive line is also expected to be competitive, coaches say, with redshirt freshman Ryne Giddins and Julius Forte battling for the backup spot behind senior Craig Marshall for one end position, while juniors Claude Davis and Patrick Hampton will try to catch senior David Bedford at the other. USF’s previous starting ends – George Selvie and Jason Pierre-Paul – both were selected in the NFL draft last weekend.

Sophomore Sterling Griffin moved up as a starter at slot receiver after senior A.J. Love had knee surgery for a torn left ACL suffered during the spring game. Senior Dontavia Bogan is the starter opposite Griffin, while dual-threat sophomore Evan Landi is a backup at receiver and behind B.J. Daniels at quarterback.

At kicker, senior Eric Schwartz, the starter last season, is ahead of sophomore Maikon Bonani, who will make his return to the field after missing last season with a back injury suffered in a fall at Busch Gardens in summer 2009.

Fontanez honored

Junior baseball pitcher Randy Fontanez, who threw a complete-game shutout in USF’s 5-0 win over Villanova on Friday, was named Big East Pitcher of the Week for the second time this season.

Fontanez threw a no-hitter against Notre Dame on March 26. He is expected to start Friday in the first game of a three-game home series against Seton Hall.

Fontanez is second on the team with 72 strikeouts.

Softball doubleheader canceled

A flooded field canceled Monday’s doubleheader between USF and Bethune-Cookman. A makeup date has not been determined.

USF, which was swept at home by DePaul over the weekend, travels to Villanova for a doubleheader Wednesday.