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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Linebacking, already a strength, adds talent
It could be argued that linebackers Stephen Nicholas and Patrick St. Louis were USF's most valuable seniors this season because of their play and leadership.
By GREG AUMAN
Published January 11, 2007
TAMPA - It could be argued that linebackers Stephen Nicholas and Patrick St. Louis were USF's most valuable seniors this season because of their play and leadership.
That said, defensive coordinator Wally Burnham sees better depth and more possibilities at linebacker if everything comes together this fall.
The latest addition this week is former Riverview star Tyrone McKenzie, a midyear transfer from Iowa State, where he finished ninth in the country with 129 tackles as a sophomore. If he gets a hardship waiver to play this fall, he'll be in good position to start at strongside linebacker.
"He's got a lot of experience playing against some very good competition," Burnham said. "You'd be very hopeful he can come in and contribute right away."
McKenzie had 15 tackles and a safety in a loss to Oklahoma, and against Texas, he had 11 tackles, including two for losses and a forced fumble. Another promising player on the strong side is sophomore Chris Robinson, who shined at defensive end this fall. Burnham said Robinson will continue to play end in nickel packages.
"He's too good a pass rusher to take him off the field," he said.
USF has a commitment from Plant's Donte Spires, who led Pearl River Community College's defense this fall, and Burnham said Brouce Mompremier, the top backup to middle linebacker Ben Moffitt, will get a shot at the weakside job.
A key stretch for women
Jose Fernandez's women's basketball team has been as frustrating as a 12-4 team can be, winning the games it should but consistently falling short against tough competition.
Tuesday night's 62-36 loss at Rutgers dropped USF's RPI rating to 47th, with all of its wins against teams rated 87th or lower and all its losses to opponents now rated 34th or higher; aside from Rutgers, the other three losses are to teams in the top 12 in RPI.
That makes the upcoming stretch of three games a defining run, at home against 30th-rated Notre Dame 10-4 on Saturday, 31st-rated Louisville (17-1) on Tuesday and at 11th-rated Pittsburgh (12-2) on Jan. 20. If the Bulls lose all three, they'll be 2-4 in league play, and they'll have only three more opportunities all season to beat a team rated above them.
USF's first three losses were all by 12 or fewer, so a humbling 26-point setback, even at a traditional power such as Rutgers, will either spark the Bulls during a key stretch or perhaps show they're not yet among the league's elite. The next 10 days will go a long way to showing what kind of season is ahead.
Greg Auman can be reached at (813) 226-3346 and at firstname.lastname@example.org Check out his blog at blogs.tampabay.com/usf.