USF's Clebert 'Be ready, I'm coming for them'

We got a chance to talk with USF senior defensive tackle Richard Clebert, the strongest Bull on the roster. Find out about his feelings towards the USF-UCF "rivalry", playing instate match-ups, and more. Only on – Get It First Get it Fast!

Richard Clebert

What was it like to come out with a win like that against FAU?

"I think it was a good experience. Regardless of what a team's record is, when your playing in-state; it's always going to be a big game. When we played FIU last year, I think that was our closest game. When we played FAU, it was close, when we played UCF last year it was close. I think playing an in-state team is always going to be close like that. We learned from it, we didn't expect anything different, they're a great team and they came to play."


Since many of these kids are from Florida and you guys probably played against each other in high school; do you think that makes the games more competitive?

"At times, it does. The receiver from last week, #88 played at the same school with Tyrone [McKenzie] at Riverview High School. That could have been a little more motivation for him. I know if we played Florida State, their offensive lineman Jackie Claude we went to high school together. I know that would bring a little more juice out of me. You saw Miami and FIU; some kids just have so much more animosity towards coaches. Thinking "oh why didn't you come after me or recruit me," they get so angry and they come and try to prove a point. I think with UCF it's probably the same way. They might think they same way with Coach Leavitt. It probably does have a lot to do with it."


After four years of being here and playing UCF a couple times, does this game mean more than a regular game?

"This is the third year coming up [playing them] and we've won twice so it really doesn't make a difference if we win by thirty, forty, ten, or five."


Do you know anybody on their team or have any history with anybody on their team?

"I don't know the running back but he's from South Ridge and [my team] played against them in high school and he didn't do that great against us."


Do you have any dislike for them? Is it even a big game for you guys?

"No, but it's a big game because there is a lot on the line. They're trying to beat us and we're trying to keep that streak going. Every game this year for us is going to be a big game. Each game is bigger than the other.  Beating UCF is one of our big goals but they don't dictate whether or not we win the Big East, but our goal is to win."


After watching you in the FAU game, you put a lot of pressure and many times you came very close to making a sack or TFL, does that bother you at all?

"In the beginning of the season I got a little frustrated but I speak to Lee Roy Selmon all of the time and he tells me to just relax. [He says] that the people that need to notice are going to notice. It doesn't matter if I finish with the three sacks that I have coming into the season and George [Selvie] finishes with fifteen or twenty, I'll be happy as long as I contribute in some way and help him get sacks."


Four years ago, did you think this program was going be where it's at right now?

"Coach Leavitt always told me that this program was going to be this and that. That's one of the big reasons that I decided to come here. I knew that the other schools in the Big East that recruited me weren't going to be able to be at the level that USF is going to be at in a couple of years because of the recruits in-state."


Does it kind of feel different that USF is not the team doing all of the upsets now and that teams are trying to come in and upset USF?

"I actually don't look at it that way because I still watch ESPN and they're like "Oh my gosh, USF is number five," as if we're not supposed to be here. I just try to stay focused and keeping winning as we go."


How is your health going into this game?

"Last year, UCF was probably a bad game for me I was going to red-shirt because I tore my groin in the game right before UCF. I didn't play a good game at all. I felt really upset because I wasn't playing to my best ability. I was probably thirty percent, my groin was completely torn but this year I have a lot of redemption to do. So they have to be ready for me because I'm coming for them."


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