1. Jeff Scott, USF
Brent Venables has been on Dabo Swinney’s coaching staff since 2012.
Tight ends coach Danny Pearman has been around since 2008, running backs coach Tony Elliott has been there since 2012, quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter has been on the staff since 2015, and on and on and on.
What helped grow Clemson into one of college football’s juggernauts under Swinney? The continuity on the coaching staff is almost unheard of for a program this successful.
Compared the turnover on the Tiger staff to, say, the revolving door at Alabama. Nick Saban’s program isn’t having too many problems overall, but Swinney has created a different type of vibe and atmosphere.
It’s not that the top assistants can’t go get other jobs. They just don’t.
But the USF had coaching gig was the right one at the right time for the 39-year-old Jeff Scott.
The former Tiger special teamer and receiver had plenty of superstar talents to work with over the last decade as the receivers coach – and as the co-offensive coordinator over the last five years – but as a recruiter and offensive mind, he played a big role in the success.
Now he brings it all to a USF program that hasn’t quite been able to get its groove back since Willie Taggart built it up.
Between 2016 and Charlie Strong’s first year in 2017, the Bulls went 21-4, and started out 7-0 in Year Two under Strong.
They went on to go 4-14 since. Meanwhile, that UCF program a few miles up I-4 has turned into something amazing.
There’s some reworking for Scott to do, but he’s getting back seven starters on offense, he should have seven back on D, and a few nice transfers are starting to trickle in to work with the guy who helped turn Deshaun and Trevor into Deshaun and Trevor.
Last year’s team had four wins, and why? NO offense, scoring ten points or fewer six times. USF lost two winnable games against Georgia Tech and Cincinnati by a combined seven points. Win those, and it’s a 6-6 season.
This year, the new head man has Bethune-Cookman, Nevada, East Carolina and Tulsa at home. His Bulls have to take down those four in Tampa, come up with a win over Willie Taggart’s FAU team on the road pull off a road game somewhere, and in the dream of dreams, beat UCF.
As long as the team goes bowling with a new and better direction offensively, this will be a terrific first year.