TAMPA, Fla. - The University of South Florida football team had its final workout at the Vero Beach Sports Village on Wednesday after spending parts of 12 days in the eastern Florida complex. The Bulls returned to Tampa after a tough, two-hour practice in pads. They will continue fall camp at the Frank Morsani Practice Facility on Thursday and Friday in preparation for USF's Fan Fest on Saturday at Raymond James Stadium.
For the second consecutive year, USF took a portion of its fall training off campus and the familiarity with the Village and their hosts allowed the Bulls to maximize productivity, while building the team camaraderie head coach Skip Holtz hopes for.
"Our time here at Vero Beach has been outstanding for us as a team," Holtz explained, "not only what we've gotten done on the field as an offense and defense, but what we've gotten together as a team, the team bonding, the unity that we've gotten out of this. We've done a lot of class sessions by seniors, juniors, sophomores, freshmen. We've done a lot of position meeting stuff that's not football and obviously we have our team meeting every night.
"I just think we've made a lot of strides. We've gotten a lot done in our 11 days here. I'm very grateful to the administration for giving us the opportunity to be here and I'm very grateful to all the people here at Vero Beach that have made this such an outstanding trip for us."
Last year, the members of the Bulls roster weren't quite sure what to think of leaving their homes in Tampa for fall camp, but the success of last year had everyone looking forward to Vero this season. With the team aware of what to expect, they were free to focus on their growth as a unit.
"Vero Beach is a great place to come train and get away from distractions," said senior OL Jeremiah Warren. "I think we got a lot done, coming together as a team. We've been jelling, getting more team-oriented and getting that family bond."
With the Vero Beach phase of fall camp in the rear-view mirror, the Bulls are looking forward to the opportunity to reunite with their fans in Tampa. After on-campus practices the next two days, they'll conduct a closed scrimmage on Saturday at Raymond James Stadium, which will be followed by the annual Fan Fest from 4-6 p.m.
In addition to getting to meet the 2011 USF Bulls, fans will have the opportunity to pick up posters, schedule cards, magnets and an all-new preseason guide. Coke, Beef O'Brady's and Tijuana Flats will be providing free samples, while Muvico, Dunkin' Donuts, AAA and Verizon will give fans the chance to win prizes. The younger Bulls will have the opportunity to dress like their favorite USF players as helmets and shoulder pads will be available to try on.
USF will open the season on the road for the first time since 2005, the year it joined the BIG EAST. That year, the Bulls traveled to State College, Pa. to battle the Penn State Nittany Lions, falling to the Big Ten power, 23-13. Since then, the Bulls have gone 5-0 in season openers, all coming in the friendly confines of Raymond James Stadium.
Season tickets for the 2011 football season, which start as low as $65, can be purchased through Ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-GoBulls.
Individual home game tickets for the first three USF home games versus Ball State, Florida A&M and UTEP are currently on-sale. Fans may purchase single-game tickets over the phone at 1-800-745-3000, on-line at Ticketmaster.com, or in person at any local Wal-Mart store or the USF Ticket Office. The remaining four home football games will go on-sale on Monday, Oct. 10 at 9 a.m.
USF football season ticket holders currently have an exclusive pre-sale option to purchase single-game tickets to any of USF's seven home games by using the special passcode. Season ticket holders should contact the USF Ticket Office with any questions regarding the exclusive pre-sale.
Don't forget to catch your Bulls on the road this season. Road game tickets are currently on-sale for all 2011 road contests. Contact the USF Ticket Office for further details and pricing information.