USF resumes football practice

On the first day back from spring break, USF football coach Skip Holtz knew his teams’ practice would be a bit sloppy, but there were positives to be found in the more than two hours of practice.

“Monday practice after a week off for spring break (is) rusty, as you would expect,” Holtz said. “It wasn’t crisp, it wasn’t sharp. It’s a little bit sloppy; dropping passes, fumbling snaps, things along those lines that make it really ugly.”

But Holtz said that the mistakes were not a result of a lack of effort.

“Their attitude is great, they’re working extremely hard, but we’ve got a lot of things we have to get done,” he said.

The team is still struggling to find new leadership after the departures of key leaders in Sampson Genus, Jacquian Williams and Terrell McClain, but Holtz said it’s all part of the growing process.

“You have to replace so many good players from a year ago, and not just really good players, but you have to replace a really good group of leaders for us last year,” he said. “It’s a learning process. It’s a learning curve we’re going through. I’m glad we don’t have to play this week. I’m glad we have about 165 days until we play.”

USF will play its first scrimmage this Saturday. The spring game is scheduled for 2 p.m. April 2 at Raymond James Stadium.

Knowles to transfer

Holtz announced Monday that redshirt junior wide receiver T.J. Knowles is likely to transfer soon for personal reasons.

“It looks like T.J. Knowles, right now, will probably transfer,” Holtz said. “He has got some things at home that he needs to tend to. I’m really trying to work with him to make this a positive move. It is not a negative thing where he wants to leave, it’s just something he feels like he needs to do with his situation. He’s just 2,500 miles away and has some things at home that he needs to tend to.”

Knowles transferred to USF from Saddleback College and made three catches for 13 yards last season. It is not yet known where Knowles, originally from Las Vegas, will transfer.

Team is healthy

For the most part, Holtz was happy to report, the team returned from spring break healthier than when it left. Only two players received minor injuries and both are expected back soon.

“A couple of things on the injury front,” he said, “we had Tyson Butler who sprained his ankle over break and Jake Carlton, who I think broke a finger over break.”

Cornerback Ricardo Dixon and tight end Andreas Shields – both of whom were limited by injuries before spring break – returned to full participation Monday.

“Ricardo Dixon and Shields did everything today,” he said. “It was great to have both of those guys back out there … Ricardo Dixon has been held out completely, he hasn’t done anything at this point so it was great to get him back out there.”