The South Florida Bulls have a long history of disappointing. Last season, USF was picked to finish second in the Big East conference, but limped to a 3-9 finish at the bottom of the conference. New head coach Willie Taggart looks to change that in 2013, and he’s infusing his energy into the program to get his players to buy in to what he is selling. So far, the players seem all in.
As spring drills came to a close, there was a new sense of confidence coming from the players as they spoke to reporters. Quarterback Bobby Eveld brashly guaranteed “We’re going to win some more ballgames, that’s for sure,” when asked how the new system was coming along. Taggart’s energy has infected the entire team and turned the spring practice session into a lively and competitive enterprise that saw huge improvement from South Florida on both sides of the ball.
Nobody seems as high on the new coaching staff, however, than wide receiver Andre Davis:
“Everything we do is competition. There’s no laying back, no sitting back. We have a very talented team and we’re going to play like one. He knows the talent we have and he’s going to hold us to a high standard, not settle for anything. I love him for that.”
While the players have fully bought in to Taggart’s new system, fans will likely remain skeptical until they see results on the field. The Bulls likely won’t have a lot of preseason buzz as they compete in the new American Athletic Conference and will be hard-pressed to keep pace with the Louisville Cardinals, but the players on the team aren’t worried about external expectations.
As the team heads into their summer workouts, they have a newfound bounce in their step and belief in themselves. There is nothing false about the bravado Taggart brought to South Florida and the confidence it has inspired should pay immediate dividends next season.