Great Scott? USF hires Clemson coordinator

by Gary Shelton on December 11, 2019

in general

Wednesday, 4 p.m.

First of all, a disclaimer. In all honestly, you never know how these things are going to work out. Never.

He's new, okay. He's never won a game as a college coach. USF has some disadvantages in recruiting.

At hello, however, I like the hiring of Jeff Scott as the new USF coach a lot.

It's bold. It's fresh. It's outside the norm for the school, which usually hires someone else's head coach. If I'm a high school recruit, you're darned right Scott could get inside the living room. And I'd put down my cell phone and listen to what he had to say.

Scott is accomplished. He was the offensive coordinator on two national champions. He was a finalist for the 2018 Frank Broyles assistant coach of the year. He's been a top 25 recruiter for seven straight seasons by

Look, if this was a hire that you read about that, say, Virginia made, or Purdue, or Cal, you'd think "that makes sense." Well, it makes sense here, too.

Yes, USF could have hired from its own past. It could have brought Willie Taggart home and tried to recapture his magic. But could he have after his disappointment at FSU? Who knows? Could Jim Leavitt have? Even Leavitt admitted the administration thought his paycheck had swelled too much.

But this feels new. This feels like a crisp page.

Think for a minute of Scott sitting down with Dabo Swinney, in any short conversation for the best coach in college football the days. Now, no conversation gets off the ground if Swinney doesn't approve of the job, right?

So imagine how it went.

Swinney: "Does this job interest you, Jeff?"

"Yeah, coach It does. I think there is potential there."

"I know Michael Kelly. He's a good guy."

"You know I like Florida."

"Can you win there?"

"With hard work. With the right assistants."

"You've been here 12 years. The timing might be right."

"I think so. I've watched you. I'd like to drive the car."

"It's a tough job. You know that."

"I saw my dad do it. I know."

"Not a lot of difference in the athlete you need there and the ones you need here."

"No sir. A step. An inch."

"If you want it, go for it, Jeff. You know I'm behind you."

"I know."

Scott grew up in this state, back when his father Brad was an offensive coordinator at FSU. He's recruited the state.

You want a little secret how you should welcome Scott? Take a glance at his twitter page. You'd think he was a Beatle.

Now the key question that a school such as USF always has to ask. How long can USF keep him? I mean, if he's successful, how long before bigger schools come calling?

The answer? It doesn't matter. Remember, fans once asked the same question of Charlie Strong. If a coach is good, they'll come. If he isn't, they won't. It's better if they do.

So let the Kansases and Texas Techs and San Diego States come. Oh, if Dabo Swinney leaves, sure, Scott is a goner. But other than that, unless it's a legit brand-name school, I think Scott will have a decision. And it's one. you'd rather him make than not.

For now, enjoy him.

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