Get to Know: Cody Kessler

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Beyond the recruiting bios, stat columns, post-game quotes and jersey numbers, every one of USC's elite student-athletes possesses a unique personality. Whether it's their life motto, hidden talent or spirit animal, there's more that makes up each of our Trojan athletes than what's put on display come game day.

For our final "Get to Know" graphic of the series, we learn more about QB Cody Kessler. The redshirt senior has a big season ahead as ESPN already has him third in its preseason Heisman poll.

But, Kessler is able to handle the hype because he lives a balanced life. He is an accomplished student, working towards a master's degree, and when things get really tense, he can chill out and pick at his guitar.


Finding Her Voice

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Written by Grace DeWitt, USC blog contributor

USC_WVB_UCLA_092414_MCG5285.JPGWith a laundry list of accolades, including AVCA All-America Second Team, Pac-12 All-Conference Team, and Pac-12 All-Star Team in 2014 alone, it's hard to find something senior Samantha Bricio has not accomplished, but this year's USC women's volleyball captain still has a couple of goals in mind for her final season with the Trojans.

First, reclaim the title of No. 1 server in the country, which she held as a sophomore in 2013. Add in winning a national championship, and Bricio has her work cut out for her. Her greatest challenge, however, has nothing to do with aces or W's.

"Normally, I'm a really quiet player. I don't really like to talk a lot, but now that I'm the captain, I know I have to talk more to help my teammates," explained the Mexican native, for whom English is a second language.

While a language barrier may have excused her from being more vocal in the past, the veteran knows it's time to shake her shyer disposition.

"I'm still working on it. When I'm playing, I don't like to be cheering and jumping, I'm not like that. I'm more like a quiet player," she said. "Now I have to communicate more, I have to talk more. It's going to be hard for me."

Bricio admits that as a young volleyball star growing up in Guadalajara, she had not even heard of the NCAA. That lack of awareness is something she hopes to change as she considers the legacy she'll leave behind when her time at USC comes to a close. 

"For me, it's really important to give an example of someone from a different country, from Latin America, who can come here and do [what I've done]," said Bricio. "I don't know of a lot of players from Mexico, Guatemala, places like that in Central America or South America, so I think that's something that I really want to leave as a legacy. Letting little girls know they can do it--even in the U.S., even in collegiate volleyball--that's something I'm really excited about. That's something I really play for."

Bricio and the No. 22 ranked USC women's volleyball team host the Baden Invitational at the Galen Center this weekend, and start their season tonight against No. 7 North Carolina (Pac-12 Networks at 8 p.m. PT).

Eight to Wait

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USC starts the season ranked No. 8 in the AP Top 25, which is exactly how many days are left until kickoff.


Meet the New Women of Troy

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No. 22 USC women's volleyball opens its season tonight at home against No. 7 North Carolina (8 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Networks), which could mean the debut for several new Trojans.

Before they show off their stuff on the court, we got to meet the colorful side of the Class of 2015.

Generations: Antwaun Woods & Shaun Cody

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All-American Shaun Cody and redshirt senior Antwaun Woods, anchors of USC defensive lines a decade apart, sat down together for a film session and conversation before the season to kick off our new series, Generations.

Generations is our opportunity to bring together USC greats with the current players at their position ready to continue the legacy in 2015. We will have several videos over the next two weeks, so stay tuned.

In our first installment, Cody, a two-time national champion at USC, who recently retired after eight years in the NFL, keeps it light with Woods, a respected and vocal team leader for this year's Trojans.  

Get to Know: Kevon Seymour

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

Beyond the recruiting bios, stat columns, post-game quotes and jersey numbers, every one of USC's elite student-athletes possesses a unique personality. Whether it's their life motto, hidden talent or spirit animal, there's more that makes up each of our Trojan athletes than what's put on display come game day.

For Kevon Seymour, one of the fastest members of the USC football team, going full speed isn't just limited to the field. If he weren't working to make a career out of football, the senior would be satisfying his need for speed as a NASCAR driver. The Trojan always keeps his swift feet in the freshest shoes, boasting a collection of Nikes that has continued to grow since high school. 


2015 USC Women's Volleyball Poster

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No. 22 USC women's volleyball starts its season on Friday night against No. 7 North Carolina (Pac-12 Networks at 8 p.m. PT) as the host of the Baden Invitational at Galen Center. The Women of Troy will take on No. 11 BYU on Saturday (Pac-12 Networks at 8 p.m. PT).

Click here for the complete preview.

A pair of Top 11 opponents will test USC's mettle from the opening serve of the season, but the schedule only gets tougher and more exciting. This season, the Women of Troy will face No. 2 Stanford, No. 10 Washington, No. 13 Oregon, No. 15 Kentucky, No. 16 Arizona State, No. 17 Arizona, No. 20 UCLA, No. 23 Utah and No. 24 Colorado in the preseason Top 25.

Here is the official poster featuring the 2015 schedule and two-time All-American Samantha Bricio:


Felix Wins at Worlds

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USC alum Allyson Felix added another accomplishment to her storied sprinting career by winning the 400m title at the World Championships in Beijing today. The four-time Olympic Gold medalist won the race in a world-leading time of 49.26.

Click here for the full story.

Felix is now a nine-time World Champion.

Felix with flag after 400m win at 2015 WC2kl.jpg(Photo by Kirby Lee)

Mock Game Thursday: Sarkisian Presser

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USC is in mock game week, which means the media is on its normal regular season schedule.

On Tuesdays, offensive players and assistant coaches are made available as well as head coach Steve Sarkisian. Wednesdays, defensive players and assistant coaches plus Sarkisian are free to be interviewed.

Thursday practices are closed to the media, but Sarkisian does hold a press conference. Here is video of today's presser taken by Michael Lev of the Orange County Register:

The Uce Crew

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USC football has a rich Polynesian tradition, headlined by past greats like Junior Seau, Troy Polamalu and Fred Matua. Sophomore offensive linemen Toa Lobendahn, Damien Mama and Viane Talamaivao continue to add to that legacy by working together as brothers on and off the field.

Here is their story from the Pac-12 Networks: