TAMPA — For a group of 19 seniors on the University of South Florida football team, Saturday’s home finale against SMU might be the last time they run out of the tunnel at Raymond James Stadium.
Those seniors are preparing for an emotional night in front of their friends, family and teammates.
“I wouldn’t say it’s depressing, but it’s something you know you’ll miss,” DE Julius Forte said. “You count down the days and it’s getting uneasy now as we get close to it because I’ll miss it so much. It’s something that’s going to come. I’m excited about it, I’m scared for it, I’m nervous about it, but it has to happen.”
Forte recalled a day he and teammates ran the 300-yard shuttle drill, a series of six 50-yard sprints performed as fast as possible. The drill was difficult. Still, Forte called it “one of the best days of my life” because he was sharing an experience with his teammates.
S JaQuez Jenkins, a St. Petersburg native, said the chance to play at Raymond James Stadium has always been a gift.
“I grew up watching that stadium,” he said. “I’m a huge Bucs fan, I’ve always been a huge Bucs fan. It’s been an honor just to be able to walk out on the same field with the same stadium and the same locker room as the guys I grew up watching. It’s going to be full of emotion, I can promise you that. I can’t wait to walk out and see my mom and my dad standing on the 50(-yard line.)”
Jenkins expects to have at least 10 family members in the stands Saturday.
Bivins to transfer?
A report from 247sports.com, a national recruiting website, surfaced Wednesday stating sophomore CB Chris Bivins Jr. will transfer away from USF after this season.
After recovering from a torn ACL in his final high school game, Bivins played four games for the Bulls last season before re-tearing his ACL. He hasn’t played this season, intending to take a redshirt.
He took to his Twitter page Wednesday, saying USF fans “have always been so supportive.” He was not at practice Wednesday.
His twin sister, Kayla, plays volleyball for USF.