TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The University of South Florida head football coach Jeff Scott admitted he is an optimistic person but, in a press conference following the first workout on campus since March, he shared a silver lining.

“I feel that we have come closer together over these last 12 weeks,” said Scott. “Even though we have all been home practicing social distancing just through our communication and I feel like we are in a really good place as a team. If we can have the locker room and the unity right within our team, all of the other stuff is going to take care of itself.”

While the players did strength and conditioning drills on the practice fields on Wednesday, the coaches could not be there. The voluntary workouts are only for the players and the meetings between the players and the coaches are still virtual. Despite these unusual circumstances, Scott is determined to personally connect with everyone on his team.

“One thing I started doing maybe a month ago is each day, Monday through Friday, I call five of our players,” said Scott, who is entering his first season as the Bulls head coach. “I think I am through 75 of our 90 returning players right now and have a good 15- to 20-minute conversation with them. It starts off, I want to know about their family, where they grew up, where they went to high school, how they got to South Florida, what their experience has been like, what things they feel need to improve within our program to take the next step. So it has been a great opportunity to get to know our players on an individual one-on-one basis.”

He added, as soon as it is safe, he is going to do whatever he needs to do to be in the same room with his players.

“We are going to find ways to get around our guys,” he said. “Whether it is having small groups and going to meet them at dinner or something like that, that is what we can do over the next few weeks to start connecting with them in person.”