USF offense notes

I had a chance to catch up with USF offensive coordinator Todd Fitch. Here are a few of his thoughts on the offense so far in camp:

First we will start with the receivers:

  • Fitch said Sterling Griffin is probably the most improved receiver from the time the coaching staff arrived until today. Griffin is coming off ankle surgery and has "shown some great promise." True freshmen Andre Davis and Ruben Gonzalez are competing for depth spots.

  • On Terrence Mitchell: "Post-spring, we had Terrence as an outside receiver. We can put him on some vertical routes but get him some of the underneath throws in the quick passing game to match our run game. When has a 4-, 5-yard cushion, if a guy misses -- that's why he's a great punt returner. The first guy misses and he has a chance to get it for 20-, 30-yard chunks."

  • More on Andre Davis: "One of the reasons we took him in recruiting is because he has unbelievable hand-eye coordination. He's got the wingspan of 6-4 guy. In this camp, he's gone up versus all our DBs and goes up and gets it. We can get good matchups one-on-one if we get him isolated on some of the smaller corners."

  • On Lindsey Lamar also playing some tailback: "We use him in the slot. He's gotten bigger, stronger. Getting up to 178 pounds for him is a major feat. We're trying to get him back to natural roots, which is tailback. He can help us in the perimeter run game, with draws, too. He has natural running back instincts, unbelievable cutting ability. That's where he's comfortable. As things go well for him, I'd like to get him incorporated at back and slot." Fitch also mentioned Joel Miller and Victor Marc as being used at slot and tailback as well.

  • Fitch says he is close to having a two-deep rotation of four receivers each. "We should have a depth chart where feel good at the receiver spot."

On the running backs:

  • As of now, Demetris Murray is the No. 1 back and Darrell Scott No. 2, but Fitch says, "They are both starters in our eyes. Both are going to play a ton, and you need two quality backs for sure. You really need three. We think those two guys are both good enough. We'll play the hot hand, but it's going to be a great complement to each other.

  • On Scott's work ethic, which some questioned while he was at Colorado: "He comes to work every day. I don't have to get after him. He's not a moody guy, not a lazy guy. For us, he's been tremendous. All I know is what he's done for me here and that's all we have to go by. Some people take advantage of a second chance and realize the mistakes of the past. He's done everything right. I told him relax and don't press. I'm sure he'll be eager to get back on the field."

On the offensive line:

  • Fitch believes his starting five has jelled nicely. That starting group has a bit of a different look to it, with guard Chaz Hine having played center for a good chunk of camp. Danous Estenor has moved into Hine's right guard spot and has done a nice job. Hine had played center some in the spring but the main reason behind the changes is because coach Skip Holtz wants his five best players on the field. Estenor has developed into one of the top five linemen. There also is nothing wrong with having a player like Hine trained in two different positions should there be injuries throughout the course of the season.

  • Fitch also says he likes the development of Damien Edwards as a third tackle, and believes redshirt freshman Austin Reiter will be a strong contributor as the season goes on at center. Reiter is up to 280 pounds. Senior center Kevin McCaskill has also improved with the competition, giving USF three players who can play at center.

Stay tuned for a blog post this week on B.J. Daniels.