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Hillsborough grad provides depth at quarterback for UF
By TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Published August 10, 2006
GAINESVILLE - Hillsborough's Jarred Fayson played both quarterback and receiver in high school, and he may get a chance to do it at Florida, too.
With only Chris Leak and Tim Tebow at quarterback, Fayson worked a little at the position Wednesday.
Fayson won't practice there much, coach Urban Meyer said, but he isn't just practicing for emergency situations.
"Worst case and also best case," Meyer said. "That's a fast dude running at quarterback for us. We're doing it for both reasons: in case something happens, but also in case we want to change the game a little bit. Speed kills, and he's a natural at it."
Meyer used Josh Portis last season as a change-of-pace quarterback.
FreshmAn notes: Receiver Percy Harvin was the first Gator to get the stripe removed from his helmet Wednesday. Meyer removes the stripes when the players are ready to be Gators. Harvin has been making plays, Meyer said.
Meyer also announced that freshman linebacker Brandon Spikes will more than likely play in the middle this year, and he was impressed with other freshmen linebackers Dustin Doe and A.J. Jones.
"Brandon Spikes is a guy that I'm almost ready to say he'll play for sure this year," Meyer said. "He'll be a backup."
ETC: Tate Casey missed practice with a bruised bone in his ankle and is day to day. . . . Freshman Jamar Hornsby missed practice with a concussion. He's a receiver but may play safety in the future. . . . DeShawn Wynn missed practice again with a 102-degree temperature.
- IAN FISHER, Times correspondent
MIAMI: A familiar name
CORAL GABLES - Running backs Charlie Jones and Derron Thomas were held out of Miami's practice with undisclosed minor injuries.
The Hurricanes will be without senior tailback Tyrone Moss for the season opener against Florida State because of a one-game suspension for violating team policy, so that meant freshman Javarris James - in only his third practice with Miami - worked with the first team.
"Javarris James did a really nice job," Hurricanes coach Larry Coker said.
James is the cousin of former Miami standout Edgerrin James, now with the Arizona Cardinals.
"When I first got here everything was moving fast and I was trying to do too much, but things are starting to move slower now and I am starting to calm down a little bit more," the freshman from Immokalee said.
- Associated Press
FSU: Return game up for grabs
TALLAHASSEE - The Seminoles tried out kick returners to find a replacement for Kenny O'Neal, who was dismissed from the team earlier this summer for an unspecified violation of team rules.
Tailbacks Lorenzo Booker, Antone Smith and Jamaal Edwards and receiver Joslin Shaw took turns returning kickoffs in practice.
TURN UP THE HEAT: Senior receiver Chris Davis and freshman tight ends Caz Piurowski, Brandon Warren and redshirt Charlie Graham left practice with cramps from the heat.
"You wish it would only gradually get hotter in the morning, so it doesn't hit the players as hard, but the heat comes early and often," coach Bobby Bowden said. "We have been doing this 31 years, so we have learned to expect it."
RECRUIT COMMITS: Cornerback/receiver Dionte Allen (St. Mary's High in Michigan) has orally committed to FSU, according to thewolverine.com.
He has been recruited heavily by traditional Midwest powers Michigan, Ohio State and Notre Dame as well as Southern California and Miami.
- JOSEF RILL, Times correspondent
USF: Safeties settle in
TAMPA - Safeties coach Troy Douglas said sophomore Danny Verpaele and senior Jeremy Burnett are the current starters at free safety and strong safety, respectively, but both jobs remain up for grabs.
"No one has really separated themselves yet, but each one of them is working hard," said Douglas, who is in his first year with the team. "We'll see what happens when we play McNeese State (on Sept. 2)."
Verpaele missed last season with a broken foot, and Burnett, a Jefferson graduate, had only four tackles last year. They're competing with sophomore Carlton Williams, who led USF's defensive backs with 66 tackles last year, and sophomore Louis Gachette, last year's nickel defensive back.
Douglas said Verpaele's experience and knowledge of the defense give him an edge to return to the starting lineup.
"(Verpaele) looks very good" off of the injury, Douglas said. "He's very smart. He makes most of his checks and works hard. He probably knows the defense better than I do."
THIS AND THAT: Senior receiver Darren Haliburton, who did not catch a pass in two separate stints on scholarship with the Bulls, has left the team and intends to transfer to Division I-AA Morgan State, where former Bulls running back Chad Simpson is playing this fall. . . . Former Armwood receiver Mat Brevi, who had hoped to play at USF this fall and practiced with the Bulls in summer voluntary workouts, did not qualify academically and will take classes at Hillsborough Community College this fall. Brevi will try to improve his test scores so he can join the team in January.