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Could USF be close to landing Clemson’s Jeff Scott?

Many signs indicate the Bulls could be close to landing the program’s fifth head football coach.
Clemson co-offensive coordinators Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott (foreground) speak to the media in Fort Lauderdale prior to the 2015 Orange Bowl. [GASTON DE CARDENAS  |  AP]
Clemson co-offensive coordinators Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott (foreground) speak to the media in Fort Lauderdale prior to the 2015 Orange Bowl. [GASTON DE CARDENAS | AP]
Published Dec. 9, 2019
Updated Dec. 9, 2019

Barring some 11th-hour misdirection, USF may be closing in on the program’s fifth football coach.

A preponderance of evidence, and published reports out of Clemson, indicate highly successful Tigers co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott is the guy.

USF coaches are scheduled to meet on Monday morning, the Tampa Bay Times has learned. A players meeting is expected afterward.

Scott was not available to reporters ― a departure from his normal routine ― following the Tigers’ 62-17 romp of Virginia in Saturday night’s ACC title game. A published report out of Clemson, citing an anonymous source, indicated Tigers coach Dabo Swinney told his team Sunday that Scott is headed to USF, though Scott was seen at Clemson’s facility Sunday.

If true, Scott, an Arcadia native who turns 39 on Dec. 28, would become the second member of his immediate family to land a major college head coaching gig.

Scott’s father, Brad, was offensive coordinator on FSU’s 1993 national title team before spending five seasons as coach at South Carolina. Brad Scott has a degree from USF.

MORE BULLS: USF football coaching search: Our list narrows to (elite) eight

The younger Scott was a receiver and kick holder at Clemson before embarking on his own coaching life. For the last dozen years, he has coached the Tigers receivers, and has shared the offensive coordinator title with Tony Elliott since 2015.

During that half-decade, Clemson has averaged more than 500 yards four times, ranking third in the nation in total offense each of the last two years. His receiver pupils include former bay area prep stars Ray-Ray McCloud (Sickles), Artavis Scott (East Lake) and Deon Cain (Tampa Bay Tech).

Additionally, he is regarded as one of the South’s top recruiters. A married father of a 4-year-old girl, Scott was named 2015 ACC Recruiter of the Year by Rivals and earned the same honor from 247Sports for the 2018 recruiting cycle.

USF is seeking a replacement for Charlie Strong, dismissed on Dec. 1 after losing 14 of his final 18 games as Bulls coach. It is believed Jeff Scott wanted the job when it became vacant in December 2016; a month later, he helped lead Clemson to the national title in the College Football Playoff championship game at Raymond James Stadium.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. New USF football coach Jeff Scott, right, talks to members of the football team during a meeting at USF last week. Since then, Scott and his staff  have remained on the recruiting trail, landing six new non-binding commitments. [SCOTT KEELER  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES]
    New coach Jeff Scott has received six new commitments since Sunday.
  2. USF Bulls guard Laquincy Rideau (3) shoots a 3-pointer over Wichita State Shockers guard Dexter Dennis (0) during the first half at the Yuengling Center. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
    The Bulls shoot 30 percent from the floor in a 56-43 defeat at the Yuengling Center.
  3. Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall's club was ranked as high as 16th in the Associated Press poll earlier this month before losing two in a row last week. [MICHAEL PEREZ  |  AP]
    Both teams will try to break out of skids in tonight’s ‘Coaches vs. Cancer’ game at the Yuengling Center.
  4. Chamberlain offensive tackle Cesar Reyes said via Twitter on Sunday he plans to sign with USF. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
    The Bulls fortify depth at quarterback and on the offensive line.
  5. USF sophomore Elisa Pinzan had seven 3-pointers Sunday in the Bulls' 64-57 loss to UCF at the Yuengling Center. [JOEY KNIGHT | Times] [Joey Knight]
    The Knights sweep a weekend of basketball against the Bulls.
  6. USF senior point guard Laquincy Rideau (3) drives in the first half of his team's 55-54 loss Saturday at UCF. [Photo provided by UCF Athletics] [UCF Athletics]
    The Bulls coach doesn’t hold back following his team’s controversial 55-54 loss in Orlando
  7. USF sophomore center Michael Durr faces a daunting challenge on Saturday night in Orlando against UCF 6-foot-11 veteran Collin Smith. [CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP]
    The Bulls, who appear on the cusp of a breakthrough win, haven’t defeated the Knights since 2015.
  8. New USF football coach Jeff Scott, left, meets with members of his coaching staff and support staff at USF on Thursday. [SCOTT KEELER  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES]
    The new coach also has a date set for the Bulls’ spring intrasquad game
  9. New USF football coach Jeff Scott, right, talks to members of the football team during a team meeting at USF on Thursday. [SCOTT KEELER  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES]
    Clemson’s former co-offensive coordinator holds his first full team meeting as USF coach.
  10. USF women's coach Jose Fernandez, talking with guard Enna Pehadzic (0) during the Bulls' season-opening win against Jacksonville, leads his team into a critical American Athletic Conference game tonight at Temple. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
    A mediocre showing in non-conference play has hindered the Bulls’ NCAA Tournament hopes.
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