It's finally time to get ready for some football! Skip Holtz meets with the media at noon Eastern time, and we'll find out about new players, additions, subtractions (hopefully not too many), and all the Bulls news that's fit to share.
You can watch the news conference at this link on GoUSFBulls.com - I'll keep adding to this story as things happen.
11:50am - Mark Snyder just finished talking. I wasn't expecting anyone to start talking before noon so I didn't catch very much of his interview but I liked when someone asked him about blitzes, he said "If we send you, you better do something."
11:57am - Scary tweet from Greg Auman, who caught all of Snyder's part of the news conference.
gregauman USF defensive coordinator Mark Snyder said he wants to find a nickel defensive back in camp - for now, LB Jacquian Williams is USF's nickel.
12:07pm - WOOOOOOO SKIP'S AT THE PODIUM TIME FOR FOOTBALL.
12:09pm - Skip is fired up already. Plenty of volume and enthusiasm. I think he's as ready as the rest of us to get started. 105 players?
12:10pm - And your transfer students are... DARRELL SCOTT, HELL YES! Dontae Aycock, NICE. Kevin Gidrey, Holtz's TE/FB from East Carolina, Spencer Boyd, and T.J. Knowles, my favorite wide receiver ever. Holtz mentions he's 6'8" twice.
12:12pm - I didn't hear WR Jamaal Montague among the list of incoming freshman. There were some rumors he didn't qualify and that might have confirmed that he won't be around. Sounds like there will be a couple walk-on wide receivers coming in, too. I didn't catch their names.
12:13pm - LB Donte Spires is back on scholarship, and finally DB Mistral Raymond is getting one too. Could be a couple more walk-ons getting scholarships too.
12:13pm - And there are your "not here this fall" players - RBs Tiger Powell and Michael Hayes, and Montague.
12:14pm - WR Ed Alcin and OG Zach Hermann we already knew weren't coming back. Now you can WR Patrick Richardson, WR Jason Sherman, and RB Aston Samuels to the list. They've graduated and are not going to complete their eligibility.
12:16pm - God we're going to be short on wide receivers for a few weeks. I will once again offer myself up if Phil McGeoghan is interested in a guy who runs about a 5.8 40.
12:17pm - Holtz says the trip to Vero Beach is going to be more like "Remember the Titans" than "Junction Boys". Too bad, I would have loved to hear Holtz's impression of Tom Berenger's impression of Bear Bryant. "WE GON' WORK NOW."
12:19pm - Time for questions.
12:21pm - First Holtzism of the day in reference to T.J. Knowles - the "drinking from a fire hose" line. If you had 12:21pm in your pool, please take your ticket to the pay window.
12:23pm - Holtz pointed out that the RB position is going to be suddenly thin after this season and that was the reason for getting both Darrell Scott and Dontae Aycock as transfers this year. Then when Plancher graduates, both of them will be eligible for next season.
12:24pm - Ugh, Colby Erskin talk.
12:26pm - This is probably the third or fourth time Holtz has mentioned bringing the team together, and not just coaching them. Chemistry, baby.
12:28pm – Lots of oddly detailed questions about Dodgertown. Sounds like either there will be an interesting feature story out of this, or some kind of OH MY GOD THEY’RE WASTING THE TAXPAYERS’ MONEY hit job from local TV.
12:30pm – WHOA, Skip, be careful calling B.J. Daniels a "professional" into an open mic like that. The NCAA will probably be at your doorstep first thing in the morning with a list of questions.
12:32pm – Holtz seems to be more concerned about getting the little things right in the new scheme this season, rather than stuffing their entire system down their throats in fall practice. Says he’s more concerned with making sure people can execute what they’ve taught them on the field.
12:33pm – Practice will be open to the public in Vero Beach. First scrimmage sounds like it will be August 14.
12:35pm – Talking about his running backs. Not at all committed to a starter.
12:36pm – Holtz on freshmen – he says he wants to redshirt all of them and then make the players prove they can handle playing as a true freshman. Sounds like the first scrimmage (August 14) will be a landmark for deciding whether kids are ready to play as freshmen.
12:39pm – Some thoughts on Evan Landi – Holtz said he may have to end up being the backup quarterback if needs dictate. Says they looked for some quarterbacks in the transfer arena but nothing panned out.
12:41pm – Oh, this is painful to hear Holtz try and figure out who’s going to be available at wide receiver. There just aren’t a whole lot of options without A.J. Love and Sterling Griffin. And someone had to remind Skip about Lindsey Lamar, that’s not encouraging.
12:42pm - Annnnnd we're done.
Well, I can't exactly say that press conference encouraged me about this season. The wide receiver depth has officially progressed from "a problem" to "a crisis", at least until Griffin and Love get back. When the coach is suggesting they may have to use their tight ends split out on occasion, that's when you know there are some depth issues. On the other hand, getting both Scott and Aycock into the fold next year is big - you have to figure at least one of them will pan out and give the Bulls a running back they haven't really had since Andre Hall left. And somehow I think this might be the last time we hear about multiple recruits not qualifying academically to a Skip Holtz-coached team. I still like the way the future looks, but the present might be tougher to get through than we thought.