Taggart Says Do Something
Head Coach Willie Taggart says “Do Something” is the foundation of the program he’s building at USF
By: Ashley Swafford
Tampa, Fl.—University of South Florida Head Coach Willie Taggart will finally get a chance to coach the Bulls beginning Wednesday. Although it will be Taggart’s first time coaching his team, it will not be the first time he has met them.
“I had a chance to meet with each of [the pre-existing players] individually after a week of being here. We talked about their family and their background, [but now I can see] them run around and interact with each other which is really good.”
The current roster and new USF recruits are beginning to intertwine as each player begins to compete for their spot on the official roster for fall. Taggart said no jobs are guaranteed and that all the recruits that were promised an opportunity to come out and compete for jobs will be given that opportunity.
“Quarterbacks, lineman, kickers, punters…even the managers are going at it,” said the always-charismatic Taggart. “We have to compete everyday. We aren’t giving anyone anything.”
As of yet, USF does not have a starting quarterback going into spring practice and Taggart guarantees that one will not be chosen until the summer practices. He wants to look for an Andrew Luck-type quarterback from an ambition standpoint.
“From day one, Andrew Luck was awesome. He loved this game. He built his teammates up. Everyone wanted to play for him. The only controller he had in his hand was a TV remote to watch film. He didn’t play video games.”
Taggart wants a quarterback that is smart, tough, and competitive and loves football.
“I want a guy who will cherish the ball like it’s a million bucks. I’m not babysitting anyone. They all understand that. There will be tough situations that that person is going to have to get us out of and get his teammates out of. I want a quarterback that hates losing.”
Taggart recalled the 2010 play in which Luck laid out USC’s Shareece Wright after his team fumbled the ball. Taggart is looking for that kind of toughness in all positions.
“I want mighty men. I don’t believe in soft football teams. Soft and football don’t match. I want a tough football team.”
Laying the foundation that nothing is given and everything is earned through effort, Taggart instills two words in each of his players every day.
“Do something. You need to be the player that you intended to be when you decided to come to school at the University of South Florida. You need to be the players that all the fans expect you to be. You need to live up to those expectations and have fun doing it. Just work. We want tough guys. Be tough. Success is at the end of pain.”
Saturday marks the Bull’s first practice in pads and only spring practice open to the public until their spring game in April.
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