Tuesday's practice began before South Florida's chewy heat enveloped all in its sweaty aunt embrace. By the time practice ended, some guys looked like they just kissed Aunt Bunny.
The punters and kickers did their thing. Despite a terrible shank that bounced into the south stands, I'd give the Tuesday edge to sophomore Chris Ayers over freshman Karson Dietrich in punting. Among the kickers, freshman Austin Taylor hit three consecutive, the last two from 36 yards off the right hash mark and 42 yards off the left hash. Freshman Cody Hodgens missed from 26 and 36, but hit from 30 and 42.
Defensively, the defensive line and junior cornerback Richard Leonard again starred, although he and fellow returning starter Sam Miller tended to get run with the second team defense while sophomore Jeremiah McKinnon and redshirt junior Sam Gervais ran with the first team. McKinnon had an interception in team drills.
Santa Rosa Junior College transfer cornerback Randy Harvey joined the team, officially, Tuesday. Havey had three interceptions and 46 tackles in 10 games last season.
Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Clinton Taylor got behind the defense a few times Tuesday. Head coach Ron Turner said, "I think he's starting to understand the offense. He's playing it differently than he did in the spring. He's playing it much more relaxed. He's playing with confidence. The players did a good job in the player-led workouts (this summer)."
Turner said about DeAndre Jasper working with both the wide receivers and running backs, "We just want to have him ready as an emergency type guy in the running back position and focus on the slot receiver position. We'll see where he fits."
Here's the first team defense as it lined up Tuesday: defensive ends junior Paul Crawford and junior Giovani Francois; defensive tackles senior Isame Faciane and senior Greg Hickman; linebackers fifth-year senior Markeith Russell, redshirt sophomore Luis Rosado and sophomore Davison Colimon; safeties redshirt junior Justin Halley and fifth year senior Antwoine Bell.
Being from the steamy New Orleans-area defensive tackles, 310-pound sophomore Darrian Dyson and 270-pound Marques Cheeks, from getting baked (and not in the Winston Fraser way). Dyson barfed after a stint in team drills. He looked pretty ponderous Monday. Cheeks was crawling on the turf as a coach told a training staffer to get him off the ground because the fake turf is extremely hot.
Offensive line coach Steve Shankweiler climbed all over redshirt freshman offensive tackle Edens Sineace near the end of practice as Sineace hobbled over to a bench favoring his right leg. It sounded as if Shankweiler's patience with Sineace already is shorter than an Internet commercial.
Oakland Raiders scout Zack Crockett spent some time after practice with defensive line coach Andre Patterson. I'm betting they were talking about Faciane, who could be in the NFL after this season if he's not on Food Network. That's not a joke about his eating. He's apparently a good cook and has culinary artist aspirations.