Daniels ready to play with new confidence

USF football coach Skip Holtz gave redshirt junior quarterback B.J. Daniels a huge vote of confidence from his coaches after last Saturday’s scrimmage, as he enters his third season as the Bulls’ starter.

That confidence is something that could give the Bulls an edge this season, and it was noticeable as the Bulls resumed practice Tuesday.

“I did not hear coach say (that I will be the starter), but it helps,” Daniels said. “It helps when you have a good supporting staff like we have that is behind you 100 percent.”

Holtz said he believes Daniels has put in a lot of effort to get to this point.

“He received some criticism last year, and I don’t want to say it was unjustly served either, but the way he has responded has been impressive to watch,” he said.

Now that the offense has started to come together, Daniels has been able to read plays quicker, giving him a better feel of what he has to work with this season.

“That confidence is coming from understanding the offense and what we are doing to utilize all the moving parts that are going in it,” Holtz said. “He has a good feel right now.”

Quarterbacks coach Peter Vaas said he has personally seen Daniels’ growth as well.

“I think B.J. has taken a step to where he has elevated his play quite a bit,” he said. “B.J. has taken his experience level and accelerated the learning curve a little bit more than the other guys have right now.”

Murray excited for UND crowd

Like everyone who is involved with the Bulls football team, redshirt junior running back Demetris Murray is anticipating the season opener in Notre Dame’s 80,795-seat Notre Dame Stadium.

“When it comes to hostile environments, I just think our team thrives on that and it gives us better chances than other teams,” he said. “I just think it is going to be fun.”

The team has had to switch gears now that training camp is over, but Murray said the team has remained focused.

“Now that we have come together, we are trying to focus more on the small things,” Murray said. “We are treating it like any week, as if we had a game on Saturday.”

Improved work ethic

Senior wide receiver A.J. Love has been involved with various offensive systems while playing for the Bulls. However, he said he believes the offense is closer as a unit this season and that can be a difference maker for the Bulls.

“The expectations are always high, but as a team we are much closer than we have ever been as far as relationships go,” he said. “Guys are more willing to play for each other this season.”

According to Love, the support of the coaching staff has been monumental in bringing the players together.

“The learning curve isn’t as big – guys have been picking things up a lot faster this year and the coaches play a hand in that as well. They are just teaching us a lot better.”

“Everybody has bought in,” Love said. “Before, we had those same aspirations of winning the Big East, and we got close before, but this year everybody believes that we actually have the pieces to get it done.”

Miller’s father arrested

The father of the USF football player who was the focal point of last year’s Jim Leavitt scandal was arrested last week by the Tampa Police Department.

Paul Miller, 59, father of USF wide receiver Joel Miller, was arrested at 10:10 p.m. last Thursday and charged with third-degree grand theft after he reportedly found a wallet in a shopping cart at Publix and placed it in his pocket instead of turning it in.

Paul Miller was released on $2,000 bail and has retained Tampa attorney Barry Cohen to represent him. Cohen also represented Joel Miller in his case against Leavitt.