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Tampa-raised Gators relish return home to face USF

Homecoming games are often full of obligations and can be stressful for players
Updated: Sep. 8, 2021 at 8:00 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -The Gators are technically the visiting team on Saturday against South Florida in Tampa, but some players will have significant cheering sections.

Seven Florida players are from Tampa, including starting left tackle Richard Gouraige, running back Malik Davis, and reigning SEC co-defensive lineman of the week Zachary Carter. They’re part of a Florida team that’s heavily favored to beat USF. The Bulls lost their opener 45-0, while the Gators prevailed over Florida Atlantic, 35-14.

This type of homecoming is often full of obligations and can be stressful for players. Gouraige sheds some light on the daily conversations he’s had with friends and family leading up to kickoff.

“Recently I’ve been getting a lot of calls and texts from a lot of people,” said Gouraige. “Asking for tickets and stuff to come out and support the team, because it’s home and everyone wants to come out and support.”

“I haven’t played a game back home in like five years,” said Carter. “So I’m excited to get out there in front of the home crowd. I have a lot of people trying to support me so I’m just excited to get out there.”

Meanwhile, six USF players hail from North Central Florida, including Columbia High School grad Latrell Williams at receiver. Williams made two receptions in the Bulls’ opening game loss to NC State.

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