USF doesn’t play its first game until Sept. 5, but its defense is already taking its share of hits.
On Wednesday, the team was dealt another major blow when coach Willie Taggart announced that junior defensive back Hassan Childs is expected to miss the entire season after tearing the ACL in his right knee during practice.
Childs, who posted two tackles in 12 games last year, was expected to be the team’s primary punt returner this season. He was also listed as the backup strong safety on USF’s initial depth chart in the fall, and had turned heads with multiple takeaways during 11-on-11 drills in preseason practice.
The loss of Childs adds to what has been a rough couple of weeks for the Bulls.
Days before training camp opened, team officials announced defensive lineman Derrick Calloway, a likely starter, had withdrawn for academic reasons. Then, on the fourth day of camp, junior safety Nate Godwin, a Freedom High alumnus, pulled his hamstring while defending a long pass play during a drill and was sidelined for two weeks.
USF will also be without linebackers Tashon Whitehurst and Nigel Harris, who were both suspended Tuesday for the first two games after violating unspecified rules in the spring.