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USF lineman Brooks Larkin leaves program, blasts position coach

The backup offensive lineman called assistant Matt Mattox a "liar and a coward" in a lengthy Twitter diatribe
DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times
South Florida Bulls offensive lineman Brooks Larkin (72) and South Florida Bulls offensive lineman Marcus Norman (77) celebrate the Bulls' second quarter touchdown during Saturday’s (10/28/17) game between USF and Houston at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times South Florida Bulls offensive lineman Brooks Larkin (72) and South Florida Bulls offensive lineman Marcus Norman (77) celebrate the Bulls' second quarter touchdown during Saturday’s (10/28/17) game between USF and Houston at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
Published Apr. 6, 2018
Updated Apr. 6, 2018

USF officials said they would have no comment on a highly incendiary statement issued Friday afternoon via Twitter by Bulls offensive lineman — or former offensive lineman — Brooks Larkin, who referred to position coach Matt Mattox as a "liar and a coward."

A redshirt junior once projected to contend for the starting job at center, Larkin's 228-word message begins with an announcement (he's stepping away from football) and ends with a diatribe (against USF's program).

"My decision stems from a health, career and political standpoint," Larkin writes. "Smacking heads with grown men for at least 2 more years and increasing my risk of CTE is not worth it for me anymore."

He then goes on to say he's "extremely disappointed in the USF coaches and players."

"The offensive line coach (Mattox) is a liar and a coward who refuses to return calls or meet with me," Larkin writes. "He also plays who he wants rather than the best player for the job. The USF community deserves better than that."

The statement elicited immediate reaction from at least one current player, WR Stanley Clerveaux, who tweeted: you should of never put all this on social media bro everybody in that lockeroom knows that every coach Doors are always open

A Manatee High alumnus who played one season at the Air Force Prep Academy, Larkin's name already had been removed from the USF roster Friday afternoon.

He appeared in eight career games at USF but never made a start. Arguably his most prominent moment as a Bull occurred during the Birmingham Bowl in December, when ESPN cameras captured him doing a split on the sideline.

For at least the last couple of weeks, he had not been taking reps with the first-team offensive line during the portion of spring practices open to reporters. He was scolded by Mattox and a couple of other coaches during the end of Tuesday's practice, though the reason was unclear.