TAMPA — After sitting out last season following his transfer from Notre Dame, University of South Florida DE Aaron Lynch is finally back to doing what he loves best — playing football with his new teammates.
“It was good to finally play with my team,” Lynch said. “I’ve been waiting a whole year to play with these guys, and it was an honor to start the season off with these guys. …This is my family. These are all my brothers. Me and the defense, we have a bond that I know I couldn’t share with a lot of people.”
Lynch, a redshirt sophomore, is eligible to turn pro following this season and is projected by many as a potential first-round draft pick. NFLdraftscout.com ranks Lynch as the best defensive end in the 2016 draft class.
Lynch said one of his reasons for leaving Notre Dame was that the individual attention he received made him a little bit too selfish for his own good.
“I was a team player there, but at the same time, I was getting a lot of looks and that got to my head in a way,” he said. “I was really just all about me. Sitting out a year and being around the players made me become more of a team player and made me want to do more for my teammates and not just for myself.”
USF coach Willie Taggart has praised Lynch in the past for his efforts to bond with his teammates and improve his attitude.
NO QB YET: USF coaches haven’t decided which quarterback will start Saturday’s game at Michigan State, insisting it will be determined on the practice field. But Bobby Eveld caught offensive coordinator Walt Wells’ attention for his second-half performance after replacing Matt Floyd against McNeese State.
Eveld was 10-for-20 for 137 yards and two touchdowns, also picking up 21 yards on the ground despite not being known for his mobility.
“That was just great effort,” Wells said. “That was somebody that was wanting to win and somebody not wanting to take a sack or throw an interception. … His effort was unbelievable, and we were really proud of him for coming in and responding the way he did. A lot of guys wouldn’t have responded the way Bobby did in that situation, and that speaks highly to his character.”
Taggart said former Penn State quarterback Steven Bench is in the mix to play, but is still behind in terms of knowing the playbook and being comfortable running USF’s offense.