With exactly 13 weeks left until USF starts the 2011 season at Notre Dame, we now reach the first senior on our list.
#91 DT Keith McCaskill
Redshirt Senior, 6'0", 286 lbs.
Which McCaskill Is This? Keith plays defensive tackle, and his brother Kevin plays center. When the team scrimmages, the two of them line up directly across from each other. Also Kevin is older. Glad we could clear all that up. Moving along.
Stats in 2010: Keith played in all 13 games in the defensive tackle rotation and made 14 tackles, including four for a loss. He also recorded a safety against Rutgers that may be the funniest play in USF football history.
Current Spot On Depth Chart: Keith is listed at first string at defensive tackle, ahead of Demi Thompson and probably Elkino Watson when he gets to campus in August.
How He Got To USF: McCaskill played at Tallahassee's Godby High School, and he wasn't recruited to USF at defensive tackle. Keith is indicative of the recruiting progress USF made on the heels of their national breakthrough in 2007 and 2008. McCaskill had to redshirt and put on a substantial amount of weight so he could be converted to defensive tackle and work his way up through the ranks to become a starter. Now Skip Holtz is pulling Todd Chandler and Elkino Watson in back-to-back recruiting classes.
Recruiting Ranks: Rivals had Keith listed as a tight end prospect, while Scout had him as both a tight end and defensive end, the position he played (along with linebacker) at Godby. Both sites listed him as a two-star recruit in the class of 2007.
Projected Playing Time In 2011: McCaskill will get the majority of the snaps in the defensive tackle rotation, barring injury or Watson showing up with his hair on fire. This kind of concerns me because my clearest memory of his play last season (other than the safety) was in the second half of the Florida game, when the Gators ganged up on him and got some good runs up the middle. Granted USF is unlikely to come across an offensive line as skilled as that in 2011, but McCaskill will be counted on to stand his ground against the rough-and-tumble teams in the league like Rutgers and Connecticut, and hopefully he's ready for the task.