With each passing week, the University of South Florida’s defense gets younger and fresher.
In Week 1 against McNeese State, DB Johnny Ward intercepted a pass. In Week 2 against Michigan State, OLB Nigel Harris performed well and earned himself a starting position for the game against Michigan State. Against Florida Atlantic, Harris led the team with 12 tackles. S Torrell Saffold made the first two tackles of his USF career against the Owls, filling in for JaQuez Jenkins and finishing the game.
Ward and Harris are freshmen. Saffold is in his first year with USF after transferring from Butler (Kan.) Community College.
Saffold caught coach Willie Taggart’s eye by playing fast against the Owls and making one crucial open-field tackle.
“He played hard and he gave great effort,” Taggart said. “Even when he’s not doing things right, he’s going 100 miles per hour to where it makes it right sometimes. He gets into position to make plays, and that’s what we ask. He had a one-on-one, open-field tackle where if he wasn’t there, the guy would’ve scored a touchdown on us. He’s not the biggest guy out there, but he stuck his face in there and wrapped him up. That’s all we ask of those guys.”
JOZWIAK RECOVERING: G Thor Jozwiak, sidelined after an irregular heartbeat was discovered during training camp, is still recovering and hasn’t fully rejoined the team in practice.
“We’re not going to rush him,” Taggart said. “When you’re dealing with a heart condition, you don’t rush the kid back. We want to make sure Thor is healthy so he can take care of himself after football.”