USF players knew Miami player who was shot

Published November 9, 2006

TAMPA - The shock waves from the shooting death of Miami defensive end Bryan Pata were felt by the Bulls. Several USF players from the Miami area knew and played with Pata at Miami Central High.

Cornerback Courtney Denson played with Pata, and linebacker Sabbath Joseph knew him.

Coach Jim Leavitt, who said he recruited Pata out of high school, believes the Hurricanes will have a tough time playing Saturday against Maryland.

"It's got to be difficult," Leavitt said. "I feel for his family, his coaches and for the rest of the team. ... It's going to be a great challenge to get that team ready this week."

On June 22, 2001, USF player Patrick Payton died of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.

"I've been there. I know how it feels," Leavitt said. "There's nothing worse. Because honestly, nothing else really matters at that point."

UF: Freshman in?

GAINESVILLE - With depth issues on the defensive line, coach Urban Meyer may turn to a true freshman to help.

Lawrence Marsh, a defensive end from Augusta, Ga., was set to redshirt this season, but Meyer might have to use him to spell starters Derrick Harvey and Jarvis Moss.

Meyer is unsure if he'll take away Marsh's redshirt year so late in the season, but he said it is an option.

"I'd say probably not, but he's out there getting ready and practicing every day," Meyer said. "At this point, he's not ready to play, but we have five games left and there's a chance he will be."

Meyer has been impressed with Marsh's work on the scout team. Marsh had 14 sacks in his senior year at Josey High .

Marsh is open to playing this season.

"Coach is going to make the right decision," he said. "When I signed my scholarship, I came here to play. I'll do the best thing for the team."

INJURY UPDATE: Middle linebacker Brandon Siler has a sprained ankle but should be fine for Saturday's home game against South Carolina, Meyer said. Many Gators have minor injuries, including three offensive linemen.

"Guys are still dinged up and we're not 100 percent yet," Meyer said. "But we still have three days to get them right."

FSU: CB hurting

TALLAHASSEE - Jamie Robinson, a redshirt freshman cornerback, has not participated in contact drills this week due to pain in his midsection. However, Robinson and James Colzie - a former FSU standout and current graduate assistant overseeing cornerbacks - believe he can fight through the pain to play Saturday against Wake Forest.

"He hasn't gotten that much (practice) work the whole season," Colzie said of the oft-injured Robinson, who has also had an injured ankle this year. "But he's been around here two years already, so I know he knows what he's doing."

Robinson will not practice in pads today.

UM: Freeman to start

CORAL GABLES - Kirby Freeman will make his first start at quarterback Saturday against Maryland.

Starter Kyle Wright has a slight fracture on his right thumb. Freeman has completed 10 of 19 passes for 127 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Wright had a hard cast cut off his throwing arm Wednesday and had a light workout, but coach Larry Coker decided to start Freeman.