Diaco Talks Young Secondary, WRs, RBs

Injuries have first-year coach Bob Diaco looking at younger players at key positions

It's homecoming. Typically, that means a cream puff opponent is scheduled to insure an easy win. But this isn't a typical season for the Huskies, a team in transition. So when USF comes to town Saturday, just about anything can happen.

And now, with senior Byron Jones lost for the season to a shoulder injury, we have one more area where first-year coach Bob Diaco will have to rely on young players to pick up the slack.

"What (Javon Hadley) might lack in size and overall speed, he makes up for in toughness," Diaco said Tuesday, via the team's website. "He's got some fundamental base for playing the position. We're excited about him and taking a look at him. He's in competition with John Green so we'll see who ends up claiming that spot in the game. John is a guy who just moved to that position, and the same goes for Brice McAllister. He has never played the position, it's probably at times going to look like that, but there's only one way to solve that and that's for him to play in the games.

"We don't have any other option and we don't want any other option. We believe Brice is going to be a great cornerback here. We think it's his best position, his most natural position. He was a very productive tailback throughout his life but he possesses a few traits that separate him to that next level of athleticism on the perimeter. Almost all the great corners could play tailback, but not all the great tailbacks could play corner. You have to be that much higher level of an athlete to play corner because it is all reaction. Brice possesses those traits, it's just going to be a work in progress."

On the other side of the ball, Diaco talked about the youth movement at running back and wide receiver.

"At the end of the day, Arkeel Newsome and Ron Johnson possess high-level, tangible talents that in time, their maturity of their games will catch up through game experience," he said. ...

"Their route-running is getting better, the preciseness. In Thomas Lucas' in particular, in Noel Thomas' case he's blocking better, more aggressively. I also have seen a higher level of leadership, a higher level of professionalism in how they prepare and live. We're pleased in all four, including Dhameer Bradley and Brian Lemelle."

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