Even though coach Skip Holtz isn't too concerned with all the "bumps and bruises" along the defensive line, there's still a need for as many bodies as possible with the season only 12 days away.
Luke Sager, Demi Thompson, and true freshman James Hamilton have been getting plenty of reps with key contributors such as Todd Chandler, Cory Grissom, and Elkino Watson limited with injury. Holtz said Tuesday that Hamilton, who was an early enrollee, is making a strong case for playing time this season.
"He's getting a lot of reps with Elkino and Todd (limited with injury)," Holtz said of Hamilton, once an FSU commitment. "I'm really impressed with what he's doing. This is an opportunity for some of these young guys to step into a depth chart role. Some of these guys that are out - you don't come back in and move to the front of the line. We have to put this team together now; we can't wait for next week when these guys come back."
With Hamilton and Sager among those getting extra work, the interior of the defensive line is beginning to look like one of the deepest positions on the team.
"We're a little banged up, but we're going strong," Sager said. "… Everybody is doing a great job of stepping up."
Holtz said he is anticipating his entire defensive line to be at, or close to, full strength soon.
"Right now, everybody is expected to be back -- it's a two-day, three-day, four-day, five-day type of thing," Holtz said. "I don't have any major concerns about anybody's missing time at this point.
Holtz singled out a few of his upperclassmen after practice on Tuesday, as the team continues to push through the dog days of fall camp. The Bulls will practice Wednesday and Thursday, and have a third scrimmage on Friday before prepping for game week.
"I love the way the seniors are leading," Holtz said. "Danuos Estenor, that guy has been an unbelievable champion. He's vocal, he's upbeat, he's positive. Everybody wants to lead when it's easy. Everyone wants to lead day one … Now is when you need the leadership. A lot of those upperclassmen are stepping up and leading. I couldn't be more proud of what (safety JaQuez) Jenkins, (linebacker) Dede Lattimore, (defensive end) Ryne Giddins and some of those juniors on the defensive side of the ball are doing."
Sophomore defensive end Julius Forte (ankle) practiced Tuesday after being limited last week … Senior defensive tackle Cory Grissom, recovering from broken ankle suffered during spring practice, took a few reps on Tuesday and is still on track in his rehab … Holtz said he'll put out a game week depth chart on Sunday or Monday after evaluating film from the next scrimmage, which is Friday … Holtz said he's also been impressed with what redshirt freshmen offensive lineman Max Lang and Brynjar Gudmundsson have been doing the last few days and the two are pushing for playing time.