TAMPA – Several starting positions are up for grabs. The depth chart hasn’t been finalized. But this week, with individual competition reaching its peak, the University of South Florida will introduce some planning for its first two games, the Aug. 31 opener against McNeese State at Raymond James Stadium and the Sept. 7 trip to Michigan State. “You get excited that it’s getting closer,’’ Bulls coach Willie Taggart said Monday. “For our guys, (game planning) will be new for them and fun for them. We’re preparing for teams they’re going to compete against in a couple of weeks. “We’re still evaluating. We have this entire week (to do that). We still have a lot of time to put all the pieces together. Once we have those pieces, we’ll put it together and everyone will know who we’re going to war with.’’ PLANT’S WILKINS COMMITS: Plant High DB Mazzi Wilkins gave a verbal commitment to the Bulls for the 2014 recruiting class. Wilkins played at Plant last season with Tulane University freshman Tristan Cooper, son of USF defensive backs coach Ron Cooper.
ODDS AND ENDS: Taggart is hopeful that sophomore OL Thor Jozwiak will soon return to practice. Jozwiak, a contender to start at guard, recently went on some new medication to combat an irregular heartbeat, but hasn’t been cleared for return. Meanwhile, freshman WR Alex Mut has a sprained shoulder and should return later this week. … The Bulls will scrimmage tonight in a game-like situation and the results “will be big for our guys,’’ Taggart said. … Sophomore Mattias Ciabatti (Hillsborough) has won the punting job, but the place-kicking spot is still undecided. … Running backs coach Telly Lockette said he believes four freshmen — RBs Darius Tice and Sta’fon McCray, plus FBs Auggie Sanchez and Kennard Swanson — should have a role in the backfield. Learning the pass-protection schemes is the biggest playing-time factor. … Taggart said he expects to select team captains by Friday.