USFNation.com: With two senior TE's graduating, how do you
feel about the depth of the unit?
Coach Larry Scott: I think with spring coming up we actually have more numbers with that position then we've had in the past at that position. That will create opportunities. That's where you want to see your guys step up to the plate and say this is my time now. I want the guys to have that mindset, and take it to practice everyday and work. Overall I think we have the opportunity to be better. Of course those guys were good players for us and they helped the program get to where it is now. But like anything else in college football, that is going to happen year in and year out. You just have to have young hungry players behind those guys to say now it's my time.
USFN: Talk about the players that make up the tight
Scott: Ben Busbee, Ben is really a good player. Of course everybody can always go out and work on things to make them better. He wants to get better and wants to be part of it, and that's 90 percent of it, just the will to want to be good, and Ben has that. He brings great dimensions to the game. He has good hands. He's got the body type and size. He runs well and brings a lot to the table.
Cedric Hill, Cedric's a hybrid. He's a guy that
can do a little bit of it all, he can play tight end, he can play receiver.
He's starting to embrace the idea that he is that type of a player. All along
before he's been more of a wide receiver, and I think now he's embracing the
whole deal that's involved with playing tight end. Being depended on to block,
make blocks, make one on one blocks, face double teams. He's starting to
understand that and appreciate that part of the position. I think with him
embracing that and with the two or three years that he has left really has a
chance to help his self. Now what he does with that is totally up to Cedric,
Cedric has the God given ability that he's been blessed with. It all depends
on how hard he comes out and works. He's a hard worker and there is no doubt
in my mind that he's maturing and growing into understanding that to be a
tight end he can create opportunities by being a great blocker, a great route
runner. He's already demonstrated that he can catch the football, now all he
has to do is put it all together. Once he does that he has the chance to be
Quincy Okolie, Quincy has the tools, he's kind of
like Ben. He has the will to want to get better. He's coming back from that
ankle injury, and is doing a terrific job in the off-season workouts. He's
added a lot of size and a lot of bulk. He's a gym rat and he's always
around. If you're looking for Quincy he's never too far away. He's either
walking the hall up here in the offices or he's down around the weight room
somewhere, and he likes it. That's going to help him, the more size he can put
on and still have the ability to run and be a knee bender, and move around and
play low. Any time you can add size and still be able to run and do the things
that the position requires is going to help you. He just has some questions that
he has to answer. He really hasn't had a whole lot of live action with
contact, and live situations. So spring is going to be good for him to get out
there and get involved and see where he fits in the whole deal.
Andrew Ketchel, Andrew is a worker, he's
always going to find a way because he's going to work, and his attitude is
that he doesn't know any other way. He's a yes and no sir; get it done type
of a guy. With those types of guys you can win. You can win with those types of
guys, because you know in the 4th quarter, Andrew is working. He's
going to figure out a way to get it done. If he's over matched, over sized, it
doesn't matter with him. He's going to find a way to get it done. You can
never have enough of those kinds of guys in your program. In the 4th
quarter those are the guys that you can count on and say lets go.
USFN: Do you see any players moved in on or off the
Scott: That remains to be seen. That's always open in the air. We're always going to do what's best for our the team and the players, and of course do what will put the team in the best position to be successful. If we like three then we go with three, if we like four then we go with four.
USFN: With Hill being the only junior, how do you
feel about the youth of the unit?
Scott: It gives guys opportunities to step up to the plate. If you're a young guy and you're here then you love that and want that situation. As a coach, you get excited about having young guys step in and have an opportunity to show that they can do it. Then you have guys that have that are going to be around 3-4 years that carry the load. That allows you go out and get some good recruiting done to put some young kids behind those guys. You want to build it to where it gets to that point.
USFN: Do you expect any of the incoming freshmen to
play major roles next year?
Scott: That's always a hard one to answer. We get into preseason camp and some guys look good and you never know. Right now I can't say we have a guy that will definitely come in and play right away. You hope that you have guys in the program that are ready to carry the load, but sometimes you may get a kid that comes in and he's good enough and you play him. That's a decision that we make as a staff under the direction of coach Leavitt we'll make and we'll go from there.
USFN: What are feeling on the tight end position in
Scott: If you look around from the NFL to college that position has probably changed more than any other position in football. You still have your big guys. Look at the Olson kid that ran at the combine, he's 6'6, 260 pounds but ran a 4.4. That's what I mean by hybrid. That position is changing. Now you're getting bigger rangier type of guys, that aren't just heavy-footed blockers anymore. These are players that can really add and be a weapon in your offense.
USFN: Are any of the players likely candidates for
Scott: They're all good players, and my job is to help them become as successful as they want to be here at the University of South Florida. It's in somebody else's hands if they think they are good enough to be NFL prospects. One thing I will say and that is hard work pays off. If you learn to work, and while playing college football you make your priorities to help your team be as good as they can be and understand your role in that, then everything else will take care of that.
USFN: Are you expecting many grade casualties form
our current group of recruits?
Scott: Again it's to early to tell you have this semester still, and you have all into the summer. You can never tell at this point. We recruit kids that we feel can help this program and help themselves academically and athletically, and sometime you have to let things play themselves out. We have time and we'll see what happens.
USFN: What are
goals for your position players for 2007?
USFN: I know it's
early, but do you have aspirations to become a college head coach?
Scott: You know you get into this, but right now I just want to learn as much as I can. I don't think any body enters into any field with out wanting to be at the top of what it is they're choosing to do. If you go into business you don't want to be the bottom salesperson for very long. You want to be the top in your area, or your region of course. If you go in humble, you go in hungry, and you want to learn, and you work hard you will get what you deserve. It's the same things that I teach my players, if you go in and work hard good things will happen, and that's how I approach coaching. Work hard, be humble, be willing to learn and good things will happen.
Scott: All I can say is this; I've never met a more passionate person about something in my life then coach Leavitt. Whether it comes off rash to you, or if you don't like it, or if you do, It doesn't matter, he's going to do what ever he thinks is best to move this program. Forward. So far he has done a great job with that, and you buy into the vision and keep moving. I've had a lot of people talk about the three big things in your life. You get married; get a college degree the whole bit. Well he gave me the opportunity to get a college degree. While I was here I met my wife. So I'm married and this is my first division 1 coaching job. So with that in mind I can't say enough about the man. He's passionate. He hard working, he has a vision, I bought into the vision, and so have a whole lot of other people, and we're all going in the same direction
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