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Clebert on Schuyler's survival: 'He's that tough'



USF coaches and players continue to pray for the safe return for former USF tight end Will Bleakley on Monday afternoon, and there's a tremendous relief with the news that former USF walk-on Nick Schuyler has been rescued safely after the Coast Guard found him clinging to the capsized boat, two days after the two Bulls set out on a fishing trip from Clearwater Pass.

As amazing as Schuyler's story is, it's not a surprise to former Bulls defensive tackle Richard Clebert, who was his teammate in the spring and preseason of 2006. Clebert said he had stayed in touch with Schuyler, who worked as a trainer at L.A. Fitness in Tampa.

"Not even a month ago, I went out there to work out with thim," said Clebert, who still owns some of USF's bench-press records. "I'm the strongest guy in the weight room, and I hurt my back working out with him. He completely destroyed me. When my wife told me he was one of the four guys lost out there, I told her 'I guarantee if there's anyone that makes it out there, it's going to be Schuyler.' He's that tough."

Clebert said Schuyler made a quick impression on his teammates at USF with his work ethic in the weight room and about eating right.

"He'd see me and say 'Why are you eating that, Clebert?' and I'd say 'Because I like it," he said. "He was always working out, lifting weights all day, eating the right things. I always told him he should be in Hollywood. Just a very cool guy."

The Times has confirmed that Schuyler did not play for USF in 2006 because he had to sit out the season after transferring to USF from Kent State, as required by NCAA transfer rules.

-- Here's a link to amazing photos from the U.S. Coast Guard's official site showing the rescue of Schuyler from about 38 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 6:03pm]


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