Happy 4th of July from the V5 Staff. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Happy 4th of July everyone! We appreciate you taking time out of your day to stop by as we continue our countdown from #99 to #1 in preparation of the 2011 season opener against Notre Dame. On days like today, when no one on the 2011 Bulls wears a number, we'll make our choice for the best USF player to ever wear that number.
There was actually a little bit of debate for who would be the Best #61 In USF History. I almost went with Matt Sparrowhawk based on his name alone, and he even started most of the 2001 season at left guard.
John Miller started 25 games over his USF career at center and both guard positions, and was the ultimate plug and play lineman until his senior year when he took over for Alex Herron at center in 2005.
Ultimately, the Best #61 In USF History went to a guy who had his career derailed by injuries, but when healthy was one of the best in the trenches while wearing the Green and Gold. That man is Zach Hermann.
Hermann came to USF in 2006 after starring at East Lake High School in nearby Tarpon Springs. Zach was lightly recruited, but still had offers from Louisville, NC State, and Southern Miss before committing to Coach Leavitt.
After a redshirt season in '06, Hermann immediately stepped in and started all 13 games during the 2007 season at right guard. Hermann was rewarded for his strong play in 2007 with being named as an Honorable Mention on the Freshman All-American Team. Zach was also named as the 2007 Rookie of the Year by Coach Leavitt.
Hermann came in at 2008 and started the first two games of the season before breaking his foot before the Kansas game, and missed the next 6 games. Hermann came back against Cincinnati and started 3 of the last 5 games of the season.
Hermann came into the 2009 as one of the more experienced members of the offensive line, and started each of the first eight games of the season, before suffering what turned out to be a career ending neck injury against West Virginia. Phil Steele still named Hermann to his 3rd Team All-Big East team for his effort in the first half of the season.
Hermann tried to test out his neck during spring practice last year, but after one day, the training staff, Hermann, and Coach Holtz all came to the decision that it would be better for him to shut it down rather than risk further injury.
We haven't heard anything on Hermann since leaving the team, but we hope he is doing well. If you have any information on Hermann, let us know in the comments.