USF's Taggart hosts youth camp in hometown

- Willie Taggart remembers well what it was like to play neighborhood football on these fields in Palmetto.

"We'd all come meet up out here and around about 3 o'clock, we'd have a nice game of football going on, with no referees," said Taggart.

Down the street from where his mother lives, the USF football coach hosted a youth camp.

"I know how it was for me growing up," continued Taggart. "I would have loved to be around a college staff, be coached up by some college coaches. You know, we didn't have that back then and me being here in Tampa at South Florida, I just thought it was right. I just know a lot of these kids really appreciate this and I know they'll get something out of it."

Tuesday, 250 children attended the free clinic at Lincoln Park. Alongside Taggart was defensive coordinator Raymond Woodie who also grew up in Palmetto, and Bulls running back Marlon Mack.

It wasn't long ago that Mack, a Booker High School grad, was playing in his hometown of Sarasota.

Now, he wants to spread word that you can find success close to home.

"I like to send a message that you don't really have to go too far to go to college," said Mack, a USF junior. "Come to USF, we're a night school, we're up and coming, we're a great program, great education. I think they can do that right here at USF."

That's the message Taggart hoped to get across to these youngsters: That the Bay Area is full of talent if they work hard to achieve their dreams and goals.

"I'm no different than any of them," added Taggart. "Hopefully, they can see that and hopefully, I mean, I'd love to get all of them to see it and believe it and they all make a difference."

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