One of South Florida's concerns going into this spring was depth at wide receiver and the lack of a bona fide No. 1 target.
That's why the news that A.J. Love suffered a torn ACL in his right knee in Saturday's spring game is particularly painful. Love was one of the team's few experienced receivers and someone who talked about becoming the go-to guy this year.
On a personal level, you have to feel bad for Love, who tore his ACL in the other knee during the 2008 St. Petersburg Bowl and worked hard to come back for that. Now his senior year is in jeopardy. We've seen players come back from ACL injuries in five or six months, but it's harder for a receiver who needs his explosiveness and the ability to cut and drive off his legs.
Love said it was about the middle of the season last year before he felt comfortable on his repaired knee. So even if he were ready to go by, say, mid-October, it might not be worth rushing him back to the field. But he has already used a redshirt year, so he'd have to apply for a sixth year from the NCAA to play in 2011.
The Bulls still have Dontavia Bogan, who had a huge spring game and now really needs to turn things up as the only experienced receiver. Lindsey Lamar and Sterling Griffin are speedsters who can get behind a defense. Evan Landi is developing as a receiver after switching over from quarterback. Donald Bowens is trying to graduate and transfer from NC State, but he didn't set the world on fire with the Wolfpack.
Incoming freshmen will get a longer look now in fall camp. The Bulls were already searching for dependable receivers, and now that search gets a little more difficult.