Everyone is Picking Flowers!

Oh man, the wait is almost over. The center stage curtain will be raised and the middle of the field that lies quietly on the floor of Raymond James Stadium will be covered with the game of college football.

The spotlight being white-hot for University of South Florida's quarterback Quinton Flowers and his new football coach for the University of South Florida, Charlie Strong.

All ready around the city, campus, and out on the practice field the feeling of anticipation is peaking and the expectation for the Bulls is souring toward the great big blue sky above the state of Florida, but let's adopt a wait and see attitude.

For Flowers and the rest of his teammates, there is still the introduction to work through, including his new coach and the rest of the assistant coaches especially the offensive coordinator.

Flowers has received plenty of notice in the NCAA by being nominated for all of the quarterback awards, including talk for the Heisman Trophy, but all of that is just talk.

The world of college football is complicated and there has to be a lot of luck involved, the stars in the sky will have to be aligning just right and perhaps some divine intervention will have to happen.

The most important ingredient Flowers will have to play nearly a perfect game every time the Bulls take the field.

This is not to smear the talent and the skills that Flowers possesses — he is a good strong player and has the ability to play the game at a higher level — but how long will it take him to adapt to the new offense, to a set of receivers that will hang on to the football, running backs that can make a difference, an offensive line that can protect, and the patience of Strong?

Last season, Flowers lead the USF offense and he produced the fourth-ranked team in the NCAA by scoring 43.8 points per game and he led the Bulls to an average of 511.5 yards and that was the 11th-ranked offense in D-1 football.

Flowers and last year's Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award winner Lamar Jackson from the University of Louisville are the only two quarterbacks to throw over 2,000 yards last season. Flowers finished the season by setting a team's record by rushing for 1,530 yards and scoring 24 touchdowns. He completed 62 percent of his passes, throwing for 2,812 yards, 24 touchdowns, and only 8 interceptions.

University of South Florida and Flowers finished last season's run ranked 19th in the NCAA, finishing the schedule with a record of 11-2, including a victory at the Birmingham Bowl. That was good enough for former coach Willie Taggart to leave the West Coast of Florida behind and say hello to the Pacific Coast for greener pastures, along with the green money that the University of Oregon offered and Taggart excepted.

University of South Florida Athletic Director Mark Harlan stated that he would conduct a nation-wide search to find the right man for the job at the USF. Harlan's list was not all that long and Strong did not wait too long after being let go at the University of Texas to accept the position at the University of South Florida.

Said Harlan, "We are absolutely, thrilled to welcome Charlie and his family back to the state of Florida. Charlie is a tremendous leader and mentor for our student-athletes," Harlan said. "He combines a drive to win with great integrity and he is a widely-respected coach. The future of USF football is very bright."

The future is bright — including the preseason, for the first time since the 2008 season, the Bulls will start as the No. 19 team in the nation.

The season begins with a road trip to the Pacific Ocean and the state of California to play San Jose State University at CEFCU Stadium Saturday night, August 26, with the curtain scheduled to rise at 7:30 PM.

Strong will lead the Bulls out on the field against the Spartans and he will feel the warmth of the spotlight and at the end of the game when he is walking back into locker room after the handshake at midfield that he can take a bow and thank his team for the victory. We will wait and see!

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