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Bucs' Bobby Rainey and USF's Willie Taggart Share Special Bond

10:26 PM, Nov 19, 2013   |    comments
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He scored three touchdowns against the Falcons on Sunday, and is a gem in every Fantasy Football owner's eye right now, but Bobby Rainey is just like any other new dad.

Monday afternoon he sat in USF head coach Willie Taggart's office describing the effort it takes to get up, go downstairs, find a bottle, warm it up and get it to his new baby's lips in time before the entire neighborhood wakes up from the screaming.

Welcome to parenthood, Bobby.

Taggart chuckled and reminded Rainey to savor every formula-filled moment. Taggart's two sons are way past midnight feedings, but he remembers those days. Now, with a 12 and 7-year old, Taggart is in the little league sports stage of life.

It's just an example of some of the topics the former Western Kentucky coach and running back combo chat about during their weekly meetings on the USF campus.

"Bobby is one of my favorite guys," said Taggart. We always kept in touch after he left (Western Kentucky). He was one of those guys that worked hard and he's full of confidence."

"I know I'll be taken care of for anything I want outside of football, or whatever, because he's here," said Rainey.

Those meetings were never face-to-face before, but Rainey and Taggart kept in constant contact. They'd call each other all the time to talk about Rainey's move to the NFL, and Taggart's move to his hometown university. 

Taggart finally got to meet three-week old Kyvee Rainey this week. Being located close to each other puts a spark back in those conversations.

"Oh yeah. He called me," Rainey said of Taggart after the former-WKU standout signed with the Bucs. "He said, 'I see you're close by now', or whatever. So, we talked for a while then. It's just exciting all around and actually a blessing too."

Taggart and Rainey were a lethal combination at Western Kentucky. The duo combined to set school records. Rainey leads WKU all-time in rushing yards with 4,542 (545 yards more than Taggart's mark at WKU). He averaged over 100 yards rushing per game in his career and scored 35 touchdowns.

Now that he's with the Bucs, his old college coach isn't surprised that his pro career is taking off in Tampa Bay.

"He's so competitive," said Taggart. "He's tough. He's smart. He has that will to win."

His competitive nature is showing up in the locker room, too. Rainey was a part of the early years at Western Kentucky, before he and Taggart turned things around. WKU lost 26 games straight during his time there. He joined the Bucs locker room that was feeling deflated as an 0-8 team, but energized everyone with his smile and his passion to play.

He wants to stick in the NFL but it's not his number one priority right now.

"Everything I do now is for her," he said of Kyvee. "That's my job as a father - that she has no worries."

Rainey and the Bucs visit the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Taggart's Bulls have their finale home game this Saturday. Rest assured, the two will meet again next week.

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