Well, obviously the big story from yesterday was the Dontae Aycock and Brandon Wilkinson news. Neither of them were at practice, reporters caught on, and after the two-hour session ended, Skip Holtz told everyone that they are both leaving the team -- Wilkinson to transfer, and Aycock just leaving, apparently.
1. Since we didn't get too much into the roster implications yesterday, let's cover that first. I wrote about the depth chart a little bit over on SB Nation Tampa Bay, specifically the running back situation. Aycock was fighting for the third running back spot with Bradley Battles and Marcus Shaw, and honestly, I could have seen either Aycock or Battles looking to transfer if they went another year without much playing time. Their pedigrees out of high school were such that they might not have wanted to be nothing more than insurance here if they had a chance to go somewhere else and play.
Last year the coaches basically played either Moise Plancher and Demetris Murray unless there was a blowout. Of course, both of them stayed mostly healthy, so there wasn't much of an opportunity for anyone else to get into the game. Holtz shut down Shaw midway through the season due to academic concerns, but he's back in camp this fall and looking to regain the #3 spot. Either Shaw or Battles (or even freshman Willie Davis) would be a nice change of pace from Murray and Scott, who aren't as fast.
As for Wilkinson, he had a lot of people lined up between himself and significant playing time at defensive end. Even though Claude Davis and Patrick Hampton are both seniors, the Bulls still have Ryne Giddins, Julius Forte, and even Anthony Hill ahead of Wilkinson for another year or two. Rather than wait for a turn that might not come for awhile (or ever if Holtz pulls in some top-flight recruits at end), Brandon decided he wanted to transfer somewhere he could play sooner.
2. Greg Auman's report included some quotes from Holtz about both players. Here's what he said about Wilkinson.
"(Wilkinson) wants to get on the field ... he doesn't feel like he can wait his turn as a redshirt freshman," Holtz said. "He wants to go to a I-AA or a junior college where he can play immediately and possibly get back into the recruiting deal again. ... We understand what he wants and wish him the best."
Brandon did have at least 10 offers from FBS schools when he signed with USF last February. If he wants to go through junior college and be recruited again, there should be some leftover interest for him.
Holtz mentioned that Aycock wasn't sure his heart was still in football and added that he does want to stay and get his degree. When he was asked if it was possible for Dontae to return to the team sometime later, Holtz didn't seem too enthused:
With Aycock remaining on campus, Holtz was asked if the door was an open for a return at a later date, but he said it's unlikely.
"I didn't close it and I certainly didn't open it," he said. "He is in school. Legally, could he come out and play and be a part of it? Sure. I don't want a merry-go-round here when we're in the fall. I don't want people getting on and off and on and off."
3. The Tribune's Adam Adkins had a nice mini-feature on one of the defensive ends who was ahead of Wilkinson on the depth chart, Julius Forte. It looks like the plan is for Forte to grow into a starting spot opposite Giddins, but if he can force his way onto the field more often this year, certainly no one will mind.
4. Lots of fresh content and interviews from the official site today. Along with the usual interview clips and photo galleries, Training Camp Central has a feature on the differences at quarterback between starter B.J. Daniels and his backup, Bobby Eveld. (Other than their hair, of course.) Quarterbacks coach Peter Vaas explained what makes them each unique:
"B.J.'s skill set is instinctive," Vaas explained. "He has a tremendous amount of natural instincts on what to do, when to do it and then how to do it. He has ability with his feet, but he's also learning to become a quarterback, to move people with his eyes, to make good decisions, to understand situations. As a result, that combination could be an extremely powerful thing.
"Bobby is much more cerebral," Vaas added. "Not that he's robotic, but Bobby does it by the book. He crosses the 'Ts' and dots the 'Is' in everything that he does."
There's also a video with more quotes from Vaas, and Daniels and Eveld being asked what the other's favorite things are.
5. You probably saw Holtz wearing a bucket hat during his interview after practice. He looked pretty good in it during practice when he had sunglasses on, although he does have a ways to go to be the most stylish bucket-hat-wearing coach in Tampa Bay history.