TAMPA – A box full of exclusive and one-of-a-kind jewelry arrived at the USF Athletics Department building last week. Inside were bowl rings for the entire football team and key staff members.
The gifts are given to the players that reach a bowl game, per NCAA rules, and come from the money allotted by the bowl hosts.
USF has been to four straight bowl games and won two, the 2006 Papajohns.com Bowl and the 2008 magicJack St. Petersburg Bowl.
USF associate athletics director Steve Horton is the man behind the design of the ring, which have been given after every bowl appearance in USF’s history.
Horton works with the representatives from Balfour to create a unique design each year for the players and staff of USF Football.
Then the final ring design is run by the seniors on the team for approval and input. Each ring consists of the logo of the bowl game, the score (if the Bulls win), the players name and number.
Horton has been designing rings for years and admits that he “has never made the same ring.”
The players always get some choice on the ring that they receive; Steve sizes all of the student-athletes and takes into consideration what the players would prefer in the appearance of the ring.
The design this year has more of a football shape than years past and as Horton puts it, “more bling”, which was a request of the student-athletes.
Who has the biggest ring finger on the team you might ask? That would be senior linebacker Kion Wilson with a whooping size 16!
Written by USF Communications intern McKenzie Hejl