TAMPA — University of South Florida true freshman OLB Nigel Harris is poised to make his first start Saturday night against Florida Atlantic. Reshard Cliett, who suffered a shoulder injury last week at Michigan State, hasn’t been able to practice.
Harris, a 6-foot, 190-pounder, was an all-state and three-time all-county performer at Hillsborough High School.
“When a guy consistently shows he can retain what you’re teaching him in the meeting room, then take it on the football field and execute, those kids have a chance to play,’’ USF coach Willie Taggart said Thursday. “Nigel has shown he can do those things. Nigel’s a football player. He’s not the biggest guy, but he’s a football player and I think he’ll do well.’’
Meanwhile, junior DT Elkino Watson, who suffered a knee injury at Michigan State, has practiced all week and should play against FAU.
STICKING WITH DURDEN: Taggart said the Bulls will retain Kenneth Durden as the primary punt returner. At Michigan State, Durden twice retreated to field punts inside the 10-yard line, putting the Bulls in poor field position. USF has been working Andre Davis and Chris Dunkley on punt returns as well.
“We’ve had all three of those guys catching balls,’’ Taggart said. “We’ve worked really, really hard at making good decisions. I think Kenneth will do a good job.’’