Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Sports

Ex-UCF coach Scott Frost, at Valspar pro-am, not surprised by Shaquem Griffin

PALM HARBOR — Monday's celebrity pro-am at Innisbrook as part of the buildup to this weekend's Valspar Championship drew all kinds of sports stars with local ties, including former UCF and current Nebraska football coach Scott Frost.

Frost has his hands full — new job at Nebraska, new fatherhood with a baby boy born in November — but couldn't say no when Ronde Barber, his teammate for all of four games in 2003, called and asked him to join in on the fun.

"Ronde called and said they needed another spot filled, so I stayed down here an extra day," said Frost, who finished his NFL career with a single tackle in his Bucs cameo. "I played my last year with Ronde and (Derrick) Brooks and (Mike) Alstott and all these guys."

The pro-am benefited the International Institute of Orthotics and Prosthetics, and the participants included two veterans who each lost a leg in combat.

Frost wasn't far from the St. Petersburg hometown of former UCF corner Shaquem Griffin, who turned heads with a great showing at the NFL combine over the weekend, running the 40 in just 4.38 seconds and bench-pressing 225 pounds 20 times.

"None of it surprises us that know him," Frost said. "He has such a heart, and he's such a talented athlete. His (twin) brother (Shaquill) ran a 4.38 at the combine (last year) and we watched them run stride for stride for two years. We knew he'd run at least a low 4.4. When we played in that bowl game against Auburn, he was the best player on the field."

Frost said he and his staff from UCF continue to get calls from NFL teams asking about Griffin, who continues to improve his position in the April draft. "They'll get nothing but rave reviews from any of us," he said.

QUICK TURNAROUND: Bucs coach Dirk Koetter had planned to fly back from the NFL combine workouts in Indianapolis on Sunday night, but the team scheduled additional interviews with draft prospects and he stayed late to attend them all. He was worried he'd have to cancel, but caught a 5 a.m. flight Monday in time to make his foursome.

"Who are we drafting?" Barber asked with a smile in introducing the coach before the round.

NOTES: A star-studded lineup for Monday's pro-am included baseball greats Reggie Jackson, Mike Schmidt, Roger Clemens, Johnny Damon and Tino Martinez, as well as former Bucs like Alstott, Barber, Brooks, Warrick Dunn, Vinny Testaverde and Vincent Jackson. … Current Rays players Matt Andriese and Ryne Stanek played, as well as Blue Jays star Josh Donaldson. Boxer Antonio Tarver and Indy driver Nigel Mansell were also in attendance.

Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

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