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Coach: USF gets transfer from Florida

By Compiled from Times staff and correspondents

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 5, 2000


TAMPA -- South Florida's receiving corps is about to add a high school All-American to the roster.

Elgin Hicks, a redshirt freshman from Port Charlotte, has transferred from Florida to USF, Charlotte High coach Robert Waldrup confirmed Monday night.

"He just wanted to get closer to home, I guess," said Waldrup, who coached Hicks as an assistant in high school. Waldrup said Hicks has enrolled at USF and Florida has given the former SuperPrep and National Bluechips All-America his release.

Hicks had 69 catches for 2,183 yards and 34 touchdowns as a high school junior in 1997 and had 55 for 1,024 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior.

This season, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound Hicks fell on the UF depth chart. He did not play in the Gators' season-opening 40-19 victory against Ball State on Saturday.

Assuming Hicks has enrolled USF, he could be eligible to play next season.

- Antonya English

USF officials decide on arrested players

TAMPA -- USF coach Jim Leavitt said he and athletic director Paul Griffin have decided what to do about two players arrested on misdemeanor charges over the weekend, but wouldn't announce their plans until today.

"I'm not going to share that until I get with the guys," Leavitt said Monday night.

Charlie Jackson, the school's all-time leader in receiving yards, was arrested early Sunday at a 24-hour McDonald's on Fowler Avenue and charged with trespassing after warning and possession of marijuana. Nose tackle Greg Walls was arrested after he argued over Jackson's arrest, police said. Jackson and Walls were among about 300 other people at the fast-food restaurant, a popular late-night gathering spot.

Jackson has vehemently denied the marijuana charge. He voluntarily submitted to a drug test Sunday and said he would take another one today. Leavitt declined to say whether the test had come back by Monday afternoon. "I believe in those two kids a great deal," he said. "I think the world of them. ... Sometimes you get disappointed in certain things ... (but) those two have done a lot for the program, especially Charlie."

MIZE CLEARED: Free safety Jay Mize, who missed Saturday's game with a herniated disc in his neck, has been cleared to play Saturday at Kentucky. Defensive end John Brown, who also missed the opener, said his sore ankle is improving. The biggest concern, Leavitt said, is guard Jimmy Fitts' repeated cramping. "That's really hurting us," Leavitt said. "We need him bad."

- Sharon Ginn

Kicking job remains up in the air

TALLAHASSEE -- The question swirling around Florida State's placekicking remained unsolved as it began preparations for its ACC opener Saturday at Georgia Tech.

Walk-on Matt Munyon, who struggled in his debut against Brigham Young, likely will continue handling kickoffs but will battle sophomore Chance Gwaltney for the other duties, coach Bobby Bowden said after severe weather forced practice inside.

"We'll keep testing them all week, let them compete against each other out there and then decide who will do the kicking," he said. "It's open."

Bowden still is waiting for freshman Brett Cimorelli, the former Zephyrhills two-sport athlete, to recover from a right groin injury and compete for the job. "I'm feeling better," Cimorelli said. "I'm ready right now."

Bowden, however, didn't sound convinced and doesn't want him to come back too quickly and aggravate the injury. He added that Gwaltney could get his chance this weekend.

WARREN UPDATE: Bowden said he has talked to senior defensive end David Warren, arrested Saturday and charged with simple battery on his former girlfriend, but said he can't comment. Warren has been slowed by lower back pains -- he was in for just 10 plays against BYU -- and Bowden suggested that if Warren was healthy he would play Saturday. Warren said he was feeling better but won't play to allow more time to heal.

- Brian Landman

Freshman LB prepares for role change

GAINESVILLE -- With the loss of junior Andra Davis and the suspension of junior Travis Carroll, true freshman Travis Harris may see increased playing time at middle linebacker for Florida in Saturday's game against Middle Tennessee State.

After Davis tore his anterior cruciate ligament against Ball State, Harris filled in.

Although coach Steve Spurrier said he was unsure who would start for Davis, Harris said he was preparing for the opportunity. "I just want to work harder and watch a lot of film on Middle Tennessee State," Harris said.

GILLESPIE OUT: After spraining his right toe Saturday, tailback Robert Gillespie will most likely miss Saturday's home game, Spurrier said. Gillespie rushed for 112 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries against Ball State.

- Debi Jones

Knights turn sights to home opener

ORLANDO -- Coach Mike Kruczek spent the day watching tape of the Knights' next opponent, Division I-AA Northwestern State. "They're a good football team," Kruczek said. "They have beaten I-A teams in the past and will come in here with a lot of confidence after their first win under a new coach (31-14 over Southern)."

- David Marsters

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