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South Florida Bulls QB Matt Grothe returning for senior season

TAMPA — Whatever fears fans might have had about QB Matt Grothe leaving early for the NFL draft, they need not worry.

Grothe said Tuesday he's definitely coming back for his senior season, saying he won't even submit his name to the NFL's advisory board for underclassmen to get a better of sense of when or if he'd be drafted.

"I knew I wanted to come back," said Grothe, who had considered submitting his name to the advisory board but changed his mind. "I'll finish the rest of this year out, then get ready to go into spring next year and hopefully can do a little better. … I'm coming back for next year. I'll come back and play well next year and go out with a bang my senior year."

The only underclassman who will seek advice from the NFL is DE George Selvie, who has been projected as a first-round pick but also has expressed a strong desire to return for his senior year.

"I wouldn't blame him if he did (leave)," Grothe said. "Some of the stuff I've seen on the Internet has him going pretty dang (high)."

CROSSING OVER: Freshman QB B.J. Daniels will make the transition to Stan Heath's basketball team this week. His last football practice will be Thursday, and he'll travel with the basketball team to watch Saturday's game at Central Florida. He'll start practice Monday.

Daniels said he's still bothered by the wrist injury that has sidelined him since September but hopes he can help Heath's team. Football and classwork have taken up his time, but he'll spend a lot of time in the gym now.

"I haven't been able to shoot lately, but running around being (West Virginia QB) Pat White in practice (on the scout team), it'll get you in shape," said Daniels, who averaged 27 points as a high school senior in Tallahassee.

If Daniels gets into a game, he'd be only the second USF football player to do so. OT Kenyatta Jones played during the 1998-99 season, logging two rebounds and an assist in two minutes of game action.

"I'm not focusing on taking anybody's spot. I just want to get out and do what I can," Daniels said. "I'm a competitor. Whatever they're looking for, I'm hoping I can provide (that)."

TOUGH TASK: Men's soccer, which has matched its deepest NCAA Tournament run ever, has an Elite Eight matchup Saturday at No. 1 Wake Forest, the defending national champion.

The Demon Deacons have scored 76 goals this season — 27 more than any other school — but USF coach George Kiefer said his team will go to their stadium with confidence.

"They've got four or five first-round (Major League Soccer) draft picks on their team," Kiefer said. "But whenever you're scoring that many goals in a season, you're leaving yourself open to something. They commit a lot of guys forward. We know we're in for a major, major fight and (will be) trying to make them pay in transition."

USF (15-4-3) has faced three other Elite Eight teams this season, splitting two 1-0 games with St. John's, getting a scoreless tie against Indiana and beating Maryland 2-1 in an exhibition.

THIS AND THAT: If coach Jim Leavitt's football team is headed for the St. Petersburg Bowl on Dec. 20, the Bulls will get a $1-million check from the Big East. The league typically adds $100,000 to $400,000 for travel, but might give less, since USF's main campus is only 32 miles from Tropicana Field. … USF is offering a Big East ticket mini-plan for men's basketball, allowing fans to pick five league home games for as little as $50.

Greg Auman can be reached at auman@sptimes.com and at (813) 226-3346. Check out his blog at blogs.tampabay.com/usf.

South Florida Bulls QB Matt Grothe returning for senior season 12/02/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 3, 2008 5:57pm]
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