TAMPA (FOX 13) - University of South Florida head coach Charlie Strong has been anxiously waiting for this day: His first official time on the field with his Bulls for spring practice.
"More than anything it was a chance for us to just get around our players," said Strong. "I just love their overall attitude, just how hard they worked today."
It's been three months since Strong was hired to take over USF's program. That's a lot of time to prepare and to visualize plans for spring practice, but finally getting to see it play out gives Strong, his staff, and players a better grasp at the new direction.
"Guys have been trying to elevate theirselves every day," said USF quarterback Quinton Flowers. "You know, day in and day out in the weight room and even today when they came out. A lot of guys were running around and making plays."
"We were going really fast and it was more of them just 'locking in,'" said Strong. "Just staying focused and we were able to keep their attention for the full practice."
Strong is inheriting the most successful team in school history. The Bulls broke their win record by two victories. They won 11 games in 2016 and finished in the Top 25 for the first time ever, but Strong's message to the team walking in the door is that it wasn't enough.
"We have to win championships, not just bowl games," reiterated Flowers. "The expectations are real high for this whole team and for the coaching staff."
"[Strong] he won the national championship and that's something we want around here," said USF cornerback Deatrick Nichols. "He has to know something, so if you don't believe it you have to find a way to believe it. We believe in him strongly."
The Bulls will go through 14 practices and finish off their offseason with a spring game on April 15. By then, Strong would like to know which players he can win with.