TAMPA — Past a new sign outside the Lee Roy Selmon Athletics Center that says “Bulls Way,” South Florida coach Willie Taggart led his 50-plus players onto the field Monday morning for what he believes is the next step in Bulls football.
“Pretty much like any Day One — a lot of excitement, guys flying around,” Taggart said. “It was really exciting seeing some of our young guys go out and make some plays.”
Freshmen who impressed Taggart included QB Quinton Flowers and DB Devin Abraham, who played locally at East Lake High School. Freshmen and a few other underclassmen practice separately, followed by a two-hour session for the rest of the team.
Senior wide receiver Andre Davis practiced with the underclassmen, not the main session, because of his summer class schedule. Davis led the team in receiving last season with 49 catches and 735 yards.
Meanwhile, a couple former USF players came out and checked out the morning practice, as former quarterback Matt Grothe and Louis Gachette attended the early session. Grothe played for the Bulls from 2005-2009 and helped lead USF to the school’s highest ranking in the Bowl Championship Series, at No. 2 in 2007. Gachette played defensive back for the Bulls from 2005-2008 and started in four games as a senior, collecting five interceptions during his time as a Bull.
“That’s one thing since we’ve been back is were trying to get former players back involved,” Taggart said. “We have a young program and we have to continue to build step by step. You take a look at the majority of programs around and they have a big time alumni base. For me, I want our guys to understand the guys who came before them.”