Touted USF sophomore defensive end Aaron Lynch, a transfer from Notre Dame, said he is trying to be more of a team player with the Bulls.
Lynch hadn't spoken to the Tampa Bay media since he arrived at USF, but he did finally talk Wednesday.
"I was a team player there [at Notre Dame], but at the same time, I was getting a lot of looks and that got to my head in a way," he said. "I was really just all about me."
Sitting out a year, Lynch said, has made him "want to do more for my teammates and not just for myself."
Lynch (6-feet-6, 244 pounds) was a freshman All-American for Notre Dame in 2011, when he led the Irish with 5.5 sacks and added 33 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 14 quarterback hurries, two pass breakups and a forced fumble. He was in the same signing class as current Irish star defensive end Stephon Tuitt, who had two sacks in 2011.
Lynch transferred to USF following that season to be closer to his home in the Fort Myers area, about two hours south of USF's campus in Tampa.
Lynch was criticized by some while he was in high school for his immaturity, and USF coach Willie Taggart has credited Lynch with trying to be a good teammate with the Bulls.
NFL.com draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah called Lynch one of his top five breakout candidates for this season, but Lynch and his teammates played poorly in last Saturday's opener. FCS program McNeese State blasted USF 53-21, which is believed to be the largest margin of victory ever for a FCS team over a FBS program. This week, USF plays at Michigan State.
Taggart and USF defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan, a former longtime NFL assistant, said part of the problem against McNeese was that defenders tried to do too much and strayed from their responsibilities.
"The key to this defense, really, is to work hard, trust each other and do our role," Lynch told reporters. "That was a big part of our loss Saturday."
Lynch had three tackles and zero sacks in the opener.
On Aug. 17, Lynch had Tweeted:
We will be the most feared front seven... They will name us "The Green Plague" #USFâ Aaron Lynch (@LGhost_Killa19) August 17, 2013
Perhaps "The Green Plague" emerges Saturday in East Lansing.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at email@example.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.