TAMPA, Fla. — The pandemic didn't deal Jeff Scott a very good hand in his first season at USF. Last spring, the Bulls only had one spring practice. After a handful of player opt-outs and shortened preseason, USF finished the regular season 1-8.
Scott says he's looking forward to a full spring practice schedule in 2021. So much so that he's putting in a good day's work before the 9 A.M. practices even begin.
"I set my alarm for 5:30. I woke up at 4 a.m. Part of it was Hunter, my six-month-old," Scott joked after this week's first spring workout. "Just excited to get back out there and see these guys. I’ve seen the hard work they’ve put in the weight room in the offseason. So excited to start spring practice."
Scott said going through the adversity of the 2020 season wasn't fun, but it was necessary to move his program forward.
"As coaches, we just want to fast forward some of the process, right? But really, it takes time," Scott said. "It takes time to get the accountability right, to get the discipline right. To get the overall buy-in from the players."
Center Brad Cecil admits he doesn't wake up at 4 a.m., but he's just as excited to get back on the field on a full-time basis.
"I was antsy to get up. I was ready to get going," Cecil said. "Everyone’s super excited, ready to go. Last year, we only got one practice. So the fact that we’re even out here, getting to work with each other and getting to be together is just a blessing."
Lineback Dwayne Boyles missed three games while dealing with a back injury last season. Now he says he's ready for redemption.
"It’s a bitter… it’s a real bitter taste. Real bitter taste in my mouth," Boyles said when referring to last season's 1-8 record. "We’re gonna keep our head down. Keep on working and getting better every single day."
The Bulls are scheduled to practice three times per week before the March 27 Spring Game at Raymond James Stadium.