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Jeff Scott: Offensive line, quarterback depth are USF’s immediate recruiting needs

The new coach also has a date set for the Bulls’ spring intrasquad game
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]
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]
Published Jan. 17
Updated Jan. 17

TAMPA ― A few additional notes and nuggets gleaned from our six-hour hangout Thursday with new USF coach Jeff Scott, who granted the Tampa Bay Times access to his first formal staff meeting and team meeting inside the Selmon Center:

• Scott, whose staff hosts a big recruiting weekend starting this evening, acknowledged offensive line is atop his priority list approaching the Feb. 5 signing day and transfer-portal season. Currently, the Bulls have only 10 scholarship linemen, and Scott indicated a handful of them are banged up and could miss some spring practice.

“So that’s an immediate need for looking at some transfers that may be able to come in and add some competition and depth to our current room,” Scott said, “and also for some guys out of high school coming in.”

Related: Mitch Wilcox exudes grace, not a grudge, over final USF season

• Need No. 2, Scott indicated, is quarterback depth. Incumbent Jordan McCloud, sophomore Jah’Quez Evans and North Carolina transfer Cade Fortin are the only scholarship quarterbacks aboard right now, and Scott wants to add another.

Incidentally, Clemson backup Chase Brice, whom Scott knows as well as any coach in America, announced Thursday he’s entering the NCAA transfer portal. If he graduates this spring as expected, he’ll be immediately eligible at his new school.

A third-year sophomore, Brice is most famous for leading a 94-yard, game-winning touchdown drive in place of injured starter Trevor Lawrence in a 2018 home win against Syracuse. A former four-star prospect, he completed 60.3 percent of his passes at Clemson for 1,023 yards.

New USF football coach Jeff Scott, left, included a compliance briefing as part of his two-hour staff meeting Thursday. [SCOTT KEELER | TAMPA BAY TIMES]

• The Bulls’ spring game is set for April 18. Time and site have yet to be determined.

• In no uncertain terms, Scott told his assistants and support staff during a two-hour meeting that anyone who blatantly cuts corners in recruiting is gone. “If you have to cheat to get ‘em,” he told the group, “it’s gonna be a bad culture when you get ‘em in here.”

• The most distinct Southern accent on the staff belongs to tight ends coach Joey King, and it’s not even close. Pure, undistilled Georgia.

• During his team meeting, Scott had this George Washington Carver quote shown on the video screen for the whole room to see: When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.

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  9. ESPN films game action  on the final day of the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational at Eddie C. Moore. Fields in Clearwater last year.
  10. In USF's four conference victories this season, junior Justin Brown (13) has averaged 10.5 points and 7.5 rebounds.
  11. USF guard Sydni Harvey (3), seen in a game against Memphis last season, tied her career high with 25 points in Sunday's 99-51 rout of Temple.
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