TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – “Today is the start.”
The new head coach of the football team at the University of South Florida stepped onto the field ahead of schedule on Tuesday morning.
“I got out there a little bit earlier than I probably typically would get out to practice,” said Jeff Scott, “just because I wanted to survey it a little bit and spend a minute kind of thinking through it.”
He is embarking on his first head coaching stint since he served as the head coach at Blythewood High School in South Carolina in 2005 and 2006.
“There are going to be a lot of new beginnings,” he said. “Today is the start of the first practice right? We talked about united from start to finish.”
Scott summarized the speech he delivered to the team before the start of the first spring practice.
“I said, ‘At some point this year, there is going to be a finish. I do not know if it is going to be after the last home game here against Central Florida or if it is going to be after a bowl game in December or January but how we start and then, really, how we attack each day between the start and the finish, is going to ultimately decide what our finish is and where it is.’ So that was kind of the message to the guys. There is no doubt today is an exciting day but it is just the beginning. It is really the cumulative effect of all of these days put together.”
The players seem to be buying into the message.
“Great day! Great day!” exclaimed KJ Sails, a senior defensive back from Tampa. “Coach Scott is definitely changing the culture here.”
“The energy was great today and it was an awesome experience,” added Brad Cecil, a junior on the offensive line.
“I really liked their energy,” confirmed Scott. “They were excited to get out there. That is probably not a surprise. They were excited and I felt like they had fun practicing and that is probably the number one impression. Number two is, athletically, I really liked what I saw out of the skill guys. It is hard to judge off of what you are doing in mat drills or weight lifting but when you get a ball in the air and see guys throwing and catching and those types of things, I could tell that the skill guys have put in some work on their own before we got out there and that was a positive.”
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