When USF's football players returned home last weekend after 11 days of training camp in Vero Beach, the Bulls were surprised to find their locker room literally glowing after a major makeover.
"The new locker room is legit. They have neon lights and everything you need," junior DE Tevin Mims said.
Several Bulls players immediately posted pics of their new lockers to their Twitter pages — Skip Holtz's photo was retweeted 63 times, spreading the word online. Bulls players had rave reviews for the new-look lockers, which feature green LED lighting, something coaches hope will help with the "wow" factor during recruiting visits. There are outlets for laptops, exhaust fans in each locker to lessen the locker-room smell and electronic-coded safes for personal belongings.
The locker-room renovation will cost between $400,000 and $500,000, using funds from the Bulls' annual budget earmarked for facility maintenance and upgrades.
The green glow drew all kinds of humorous responses on Twitter, where some critics suggested Superman not set foot in the locker room and referenced "Japanese phone booths from 1985," while others suggested the strip-club ambience of Tampa-filmed Magic Mike.
Enter the circle
Perhaps USF's most intriguing football player won't play a down this fall — he's Russian-born Soslan Gagloev, a former sumo wrestler who is sitting out this season after transferring from tiny Webber International.
Gagloev's quirky reputation only grew after his first weeks as a Bull in Vero Beach, where teammates struggled to imitate his singing of the USF alma mater, a camp tradition for newcomers. He was also seen stripping down to his underwear to run post-practice sprints one day. We look forward to his eligibility in 2013, if only for the stories they'll tell.
USF's national standing in the All-Name team rankings is strong this year, thanks to a handful of players who are nightmares for opposing public-address announcers, should they make it on the field.
For your assistance then, we offer phonetics for OLs Brynjar Gudmundsson (BRIN-yar GOOD-mun-son), Mak Djulbegovic (juhl-BAY-go-vitch) and Thor Jozwiak (JOES-we-ack). LB DeDe Lattimore's first name is Devekeyan and punts could be coming from walk-on Mattias Ciabatti (mat-TEE-us cha-BATT-ee).
JaQuez Jenkins, Jr., S, Lakewood; Lindsey Lamar, Sr., RB, Hillsborough; Terrence Mitchell, So., WR, Hillsborough; Bobby Eveld, Jr., QB, Jesuit; Julius Forte, Jr., DE, Boca Ciega; Mark Popek, Sr., OL, Plant City; Andre Davis, So., WR, Jefferson; Ruben Gonzalez, So., WR, Robinson; Mike McFarland, So., TE, Blake; Andreas Shields, Sr., TE, Wharton; Ryne Giddins, Jr., DE, Armwood.