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Thursday, Mar 30, 2017
USF Bulls

Bulls Beat: Mitchell worthy gamble for Holtz

TAMPA - Skip Holtz would love nothing more than to spread things out on offense, utilize his team speed and become a quick-strike unit capable of hanging 50 points on the scoreboard each game. But when the USF head football coach looked at his receiving corps last season, he didn't see the playmakers at the position to make that a reality. Then he looked at Terrence Mitchell, who had shown some flashes with the ball in his hands on punt returns, and believed he could be someone to help make it happen. Holtz acknowledged it was a bit of a gamble moving Mitchell, a highly touted cornerback prospect, to receiver, especially considering the coach still believes Mitchell is talented enough to compete for a starting job on defense. But the decision seems to have worked in the Bulls favor. Mitchell, who made the move in the middle of the 2010 season, had one of the best springs among USF receivers and will enter the fall as the starter at the flanker position.
"Was it risky? Yeah," Holtz said. "But I felt like with what we need offensively to take this thing to another level, we need some difference-makers at receiver. We need some guys that can change the scoreboard. ... All of the sudden you look at Terrence, and he brings something to the table that no one else has." Mitchell certainly has the speed to stretch the defense, and his playmaking skills with the ball in his hands were on display a bit in 2010. This spring, Mitchell, a sophomore who is essentially a true freshman at receiver, also showed the ability to catch the ball on a consistent basis, which is certainly a reason for his current spot on the two-deep depth chart. Holtz isn't shocked the former Hillsborough High standout quickly adjusted to his new role, but added, "It's a pleasant surprise to know that he's that young, that mature and that ready to handle competing at this level." Holtz believes Mitchell's future is bright in the USF offense. "I think Terrence has a chance to be a weapon as an offensive player," he said. Hine named Most Remarkable   USF senior offensive lineman Chaz Hine (Newsome) was named the "Most Remarkable" in the USF College of Business 25 Under 25 program, which honors 25 undergraduates under 25 years old who demonstrate excellence in scholarship, professional development, leadership and community/campus service. Hine is a former walk-on who earned a scholarship and has started 25 of 26 games the past two years. He is also is an accomplished student as a two-time honoree on the Big East All-Academic Team and a member of the USF Honors College. He also is involved in musical theater, holding the male lead roles in "Les Misérables," "Grease," and "Hello, Dolly," and active in service groups, including being the founding member of the Student Coalition Against Homelessness. Bulls Bits   Former DT Terrell McClain, who likely will be the first Bulls player selected in next week's NFL draft, will sign autographs from 1-3 p.m. Saturday at Bucs and Bulls Heaven, 14823 N. Florida Ave. in Tampa. The cost is $10, with an additional $10 store purchase required, and the proceeds from the autograph session will be donated to Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa. ... Sophomore FB Chase Griffiths has decided to transfer from the football program. ... Plant High senior Brian Baird, who finished third in the Class 4A pole vault competition last season and holds the state's top mark in the event in the classification this season, signed with USF. ... Valerie El Houssine, a 5-foot-11 outside hitter from Eghezee, Belgium, who helped the Belgian Junior National Team win a gold medal at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games last summer, signed with the volleyball program. ... Men's senior golfer Robby Carl (Bloomingdale) and women's sophomore golfer Shena Yang (Wharton) finished tied for fourth and placed fifth, respectively, at the Big East Championships, which were held at the Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor Sunday through Tuesday.   aadkins@tampatrib.com   (813) 259-7616 Twitter: @TBO_USFBulls
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