Symbol of hope? The tattooed Xavier Weaver wants to be part of the recovery of the USF



TAMPA – Xavier Weaver shows his left shin and says, “He’s the banker from Monopoly.”

He’s the guy from the cartoon with the handlebar mustache in the tuxedo, tilting his top hat and running: a tattoo the size of a tea saucer.

“It’s money,” said the USF junior catcher, smiling with what you might call a perfect, perfectly brilliant smile. “I like to be money in every sense of the word.”

Underneath the Monopoly Banker is a fancy handwriting saying that extends to Weaver’s ankle: “Never be ashamed of what you’ve been through. God will use your story for his glory.

Woven in and around the words are a gorilla – “because he’s like the king of the jungle,” said Weaver – a shining light and an angel “who represents my baby sister who died at birth,” and the names of his parents, Nadine and Sean, who played four seasons with the San Diego Chargers.

On his left arm is another maxim: “I hope for the best knowing that the worst is yet to come.” That’s what makes me stronger ”, along with“ Don’t wish, just do it ”and a few other images.

You are drawn to the work of art because it is interesting.

A bit like Xavier Weaver.

“You can express yourself with tattoos,” Weaver said with his smile and confident eye contact. “I like to be expressive. I can also look (the tattoos) and remember things that inspire me – and they are still there.

Weaver, a junior, says it’s all part of maintaining a positive attitude and appreciation.

“I’m so grateful for this opportunity to be here at college and play football,” said Weaver, the first Orlando Christian Prep player to sign with a Division IA school. “I know our team has been through a few struggles over the past two years, but there is honestly nowhere else I would rather be.

“Our community is always so positive and so together that it’s really amazing. It may take a little while, but it will happen. We’re going to turn the tide and I want to be a part of it. “

That has yet to happen in 2021, as the Bulls lost 45-0 to North Carolina State and 42-20 to Florida. But Weaver, at least, provided a few plays for the highlights, including two 44-yard receptions, a 45-yard punt return against Florida, and a 50-yard throw on a finger-swinging double pass. from his roommate, Kelly Joiner, (a play that almost certainly would have been a 73-yard touchdown).

“I played a little quarterback growing up,” said Weaver. “So yeah, I can throw it a bit.”

Heading into Saturday’s game against Florida A&M (1-1), Weaver is third on the team in receiving passes with four but first in yards with 141.

Big game Weaver? “I like to play the big game, but that’s not how I think about it. I’m just doing my job, and if that leads to a big game, then that’s great. “

USF coach Jeff Scott said Weaver has become a must-have man, a development that comes as no surprise to him.

“He did such a good job in the spring that I expected him to play well this season,” Scott said. “We put him back there as a punt returner and so far it has worked really well. It is a weapon and he knew how to make the most of his opportunities. To move forward, we expect great things from him.

Great things that could inspire more tattoos.

“I saved some space (on its right side) for later,” Weaver said. “For more good things to come.”

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