USF flag football game opens door for alumni to come home

TAMPA, Fla. — The goal of any college football team’s spring game is to show significant improvement during the offseason.

What do you want to know

  • The USF Bulls had their spring game, and it included former Bulls
  • Coach Jeff Scott has pledged to bring former Bulls into the program
  • Ex-Bulls call move a ‘blessing’, statement says

The transfer-laden defense looks to be a strength for the Bulls this fall. Also, second-year quarterback Timmy McClain is working on becoming the offensive leader.

But it wasn’t the “O versus D” that caught everyone’s attention. That was the other game that happened – the first ever green-and-gold flag alumni football game, featuring some of the greatest Bulls in program history.

“[It] was awesome,” former quarterback Matt Grothe said. The Lake Gibson alum is one of the best passers in USF history.

“I found out very quickly that I wasn’t in shape for it, but it was a good time,” Grothe said. “It’s something we have to do every year.”

“To be able to rekindle the flame with the oldies, and to be able to come here and run and catch the ball is a blessing and I love that,” said former wide receiver and Jefferson alum Andre Davis.

The biggest defender in that game was USF head coach Jeff Scott.

“My message to them is that I may be the leader of their program as a head coach, but I’m just a steward of their program,” Scott said.

For many ex-USF footballers, there has been a disconnect between them and former head coaches. Scott has made it a priority to bring these Bulls home.

“They’re the ones who laid the groundwork and poured all the sweat,” Scott said. “I take it as a huge responsibility, myself, my staff and our players. We want them to be proud of their program.

“It means a lot,” said former defensive end George Selvie, who is the only two-time All-American in program history. “It means he cares about the alumni and wants us to be involved in this program. It’s something we’ve wanted for a long time, and we just want to grow from there.

USF enters its 26and season on the grill. Although its history is short, it is full of special moments. And Scott knows how important it is for former players to share this message with his current group.

“I love that Coach Scott is committed to bringing the old guys back and bringing the old guys around new guys so they can see what’s going on and see what’s happened in the past,” said Davis said. “Let them see the story of what happened, and I love that.”

As USF pushes for an on-campus stadium by 2027, Scott knows his program will make big strides in the years to come. And the only way forward is to walk side by side with the Bulls of past seasons.

“We don’t have to wait five years to get everyone together,” Scott said. “We have to use these next five years to rebuild it and bring everyone together to push in the same direction. That’s the vision I have and I’ve seen it because they’re a big part of it and they have a big voice.

It was just a simple flag football game for USF alumni. But it meant so much more. He was a head coach who welcomed those who had built this program. And the Bulls can now move forward under the message of hope and unity.

“Bulls fans, it happens,” Davis said. “It’s happening. You see, the stadium is on its way and we’ll be back on top soon.

About Betty J. Snyder

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