We are near the end of our series looking at one assistant coach whose unit will be in the spotlight this season. Today we take a look at USF.
Coach: Vernon Hargreaves and Kevin Patrick
Position: Hargreaves is defensive ends coach; Patrick is defensive tackles coach.
Experience: Hargreaves has been an assistant for 26 years, including stints with USF coach Skip Holtz at Connecticut and East Carolina. He also spent eight seasons at Miami, where he helped coach Dan Morgan, Jon Vilma, Nate Webster and D.J. Williams. Patrick is in his fourth season as an assistant at USF and has coached Jarriett Buie, Terrell McClain, Jason Pierre-Paul and George Selvie to the NFL.
Their challenge: USF has to replace three of four starters on the defensive line, the unit with the most question marks on defense for the Bulls going into the season. They lost McClain inside, and Craig Marshall and David Bedford on the outside.
The good news is there is a potential superstar at end in Ryne Giddins, a speed rusher who is eager for a bigger opportunity. New starters Keith McCaskill (tackle) and Patrick Hampton (end) are seniors and have plenty of playing experience if not a bunch of starts next to their names. Cory Grissom is solid inside.
But this unit has to get chemistry playing together. There also are some inexperienced players behind them, so depth has to be built as well. True freshman Elkino Watson is listed behind Grissom. Luke Sager and Julius Forte are redshirt sophomores. Anthony Hill is a junior, but he's only played in 11 games.
So we will wait to see how this group develops.