After dislocating his ankle during summer workouts, USF sophomore receiver Sterling Griffin’s season was abruptly cut short.
But with extensive rehab now behind him, Griffin said his ankle “feels great” when talking to reporters earlier this week.
“It feels real good,” he said.
Griffin’s return has come at the right time for the Bulls, who have struggled in the passing game.
USF ranks 104th out of 120 Division I schools in passing offense with just 681 passing yards.
“I think it’ll perk B.J. (Daniels) up even more because here’s a guy (Daniels has) thrown to in live action before,” offensive coordinator Todd Fitch said of Griffin’s return. “I’ve seen him make a catch, I’ve seen him make a play for us. When his confidence rises in those receivers, obviously things time out a little better and things look a little crisper.”
Griffin, who caught 14 passes for 265 yards in 10 starts last year as a true freshman, was listed at the No. 1 spot at the Z position before the injury.
Griffin, however, said he’s a “full-go” right now.
“Route running is good because I’ve been doing a lot of things, just sync my hips and feet over my shoulder – things like that,” he said. “I feel like my route running is back. It could be better, but it’s a long season.”
Griffin dressed Saturday, but USF coach Skip Holtz said he didn’t want to risk playing him that soon.
“You keep pushing him a little bit farther, but he’s responding extremely well to it all,” Holtz said.
Shuffling the defensive backfield
Holtz said junior free safety Jerrell Young, who is nursing an ankle injury, is still questionable for Saturday’s game. If Young can’t play, senior Mistral Raymond could move from starting cornerback to starting free safety.
Raymond mostly played safety in fall camp. The Bulls have depth at cornerback with Quenton Washington, George Baker and Kayvon Webster all contributing.
“I think we’ll be fine,” Holtz said.
Young hasn’t practiced this week.
“I’ve seen some that have come back in a week. I’ve seen some that have taken three,” Holtz said. “You just don’t know until he goes through the treatment and find out how he’s going to respond to it. He hasn’t had near the swelling in his (ankle) like (senior receiver Dontavia) Bogan had.”
Senior guard Jamar Bass turned his ankle during Wednesday’s practice, Holtz said. His status is unknown. … Sophomore offensive tackle Mark Popek worked with the first-teamers in practice … Sophomore guard Danous Estenor returned to practice after missing Tuesday with a knee injury.