By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Matt Grothe, a current Orlando Predators quarterback and former member of the Tampa Bay Storm, recently took time to do an interview with The Capital Sports Report. His interview is about his football career.
TCSR: Why did you choose to attend the University of South Florida?
MG: “I wanted to stay close to home. I didn’t want to go far away, because I wanted my parents to be able to come to my home games. In addition, South Florida was an up-and-coming team that I thought I would be able to help in the future turn the program around.”
TCSR: You redshirted the 2005 season, then made your college debut in 2006. You took over for then quarterback Pat Julmiste. Could you talk about playing that year?
MG: “I remember starting the season against McNesse State. We were able to have a very successful year that year, as we were able to beat No. 7 ranked West Virginia that put South Florida on the map. We had so much media attention after that game, because it was the biggest win in school history. That year, we went to the program’s first-ever bowl game, which was the PapaJohns.com Bowl, which we were able to defeat East Carolina 24-7. I’ll remember that forever.”
TCSR: Could you talk about being named the 2006 Big East Conference Rookie of the Year?
MG: “It was a huge honor. I wasn’t expecting to win the award. But after the season we had, I can see why they selected me as the Big East Conference Rookie of the Year.”
TCSR: You were named to the Maxwell Award watch list. What did that mean to you?
MG: “It was a big deal. I was the first player to be selected to that award’s watch list. However, I did not receive that award. I believe Tim Tebow from the University of Florida won that award in 2007. He had a great year there and deserved it.”
TCSR: You were the quarterback when the Bulls were ranked as the No. 2 team in the country in 2007. Could you talk about that?
MG: “It was a crazy time in program history. It was the first time ever that we were ranked that high. We had so much press leading into the Rutgers game, which was on the road. We were also on national television on ESPN, but we lost that game. We lost three straight, but were able to win the final three games of the season to finish 9-4. But we finished 21st in the BCS standings that year.”
TCSR: In 2008, you set career highs in nearly every categories, but then in 2009, you had a set back that cost you the season. In the third game of the season, you tore your ACL, could you talk about that?
MG: “Injuries are apart of the game. We all know that you can be injured at any time in this game. When you are playing a Gladiator sport like we are, things are always going to happen. I was disappointed when I injured my knee. I never thought I would be injured, but I had to overcome it.”
TCSR: You were not drafted in the 2010 NFL draft. However, you were picked up by the Florida Tuskers in the United Football League. Could you talk about that?
MG: “I signed with the Tuskers. I thought I would be able to play for them, but shortly after signing with the Tuskers, I was released. Unfortunately, that year, the team had some financial problems and had to move on to Virginia, before the league ceased operations last year after just a few games.”
TCSR: After being released by the Florida Tuskers, you signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. Could you talk about signing with them?
MG: “Yes, it was different, because I hadn’t been to Toronto before. I was placed on their practice roster when I signed with them, but was on and off their roster. I never played in a game for Toronto. But if I did, I would have had to adjust to that game. The field goal posts are in front of the field with the end zone behind it. That would have taken time to get used to, as I am used to the traditional American game, which the field goal posts are behind the end zone.”
TCSR: After bouncing around with two teams in two years, you signed with the Tampa Bay Storm in July 2011. How did you have to adjust to this new game?
MG: “The Arena game is entirely different than any game that I’ve played. The field is a lot shorter, so you can have scoring opportunities in just seconds. Also, you are having three rushers most of the time, which I am used to. However, it seems like they are on top of you faster than the outdoor game. I have enjoyed my experience thus far.I hope to play the rest of my career in this league.”
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