Scott wants team to ‘EAT’ as spring practice continues

Coach Jeff Scott said Tuesday afternoon that junior quarterback Cade Fortin (above) has impressed throughout spring practice thus far. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

Coach Jeff Scott wants his team to “EAT” this spring, and he doesn’t only mean in the traditional sense.

“You probably heard us a little bit with some of our social media stuff breaking down on EAT … we use that as an acronym for ‘Embrace it, Attack it, Together,’” Scott said Tuesday afternoon.

Scott compared the analogy to his wife’s cooking. His daughter likes to set the table before dinner is done, and when his wife announces the meal is ready, he stops whatever he’s doing and heads over to the kitchen. 

“Last year we were setting the table. New staff got here, we didn’t have an offseason, we didn’t have spring practice, we went through trying to play a season during a pandemic,” Scott said. “[Last year we were] really developing a culture and a standard within our locker room.” 

The Bulls were unable to gain any momentum when they went 1-8 last season. After winning their opening game, they lost eight straight. 

Despite not having the best season on paper, Scott believes his team has talent and is ready to move on and develop some of the players on the roster.

The quarterback position was in constant flux between sophomore Katravis Marsh, junior Cade Fortin, Noah Johnson and Jordan McCloud last season, and there wasn’t a consistent starter among the group. The revolving door caused McCloud to enter the transfer portal in December, and Noah Johnson declared for the draft earlier that same month.

Whether the team’s starting quarterback is on the roster right now or in the fall, Scott is eager to see what he has available.

“I do feel very confident in our guys,” Scott said. “I feel like we have several guys legitimately that can earn the starting spot. I’m not sure that I felt that way overall with the quarterback room last year, just a little bit too inconsistent.

“But [the quarterback position] it’s still under evaluation.”

One quarterback who has stuck out to Scott through the early spring practices has been Fortin. The junior only attempted eight passes for 39 yards in his first season with the Bulls last year before getting injured against Tulsa. 

“Cade Fortin is probably the MVP so far in my opinion through four days [of practice],” Scott said. “The way that he has improved, and just sped up his processing, delivering the ball, it’s like a completely different player than where he was last year at the beginning of fall camp.

“I think that’s having a year to digest the playbook and what we’re asking him to do, he’s been phenomenal.”

While the progression of Fortin may help the team improve, the whole roster must develop coming off of last season. Scott and the rest of the coaching staff want every player to embrace the time they have to get better as a team.

“That’s really my message for our guys,” Scott said. “Embrace each practice, embrace each workout, embrace each meeting, attack it with everything that you have, great intensity, great focus, great concentration, and let’s do it together. If we do that and keep our head down, we’re going to get better and better.

“That’s the only way we’re going to dig ourselves out of the hole that’s been created here over the last couple of years.”