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Ready for Impact

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USC junior CB Adoree' Jackson and sophomore LB Cam Smith were named to the 2016 Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list, which recognizes the nation's best defensive players who also demonstrate elite character.

Click here for the complete list.

Jackson has started 22 games on defense in his two-year career, making 84 tackles, deflecting 18 passes, and returning an interception for a touchdown. Smith (pictured) was a Freshman All-American last season, finishing second on the team in tackles (78) and tied for first with three interceptions (all against Utah).

The award is named after USC legend Ronnie Lott, but a Trojan has yet to win the trophy since its creation in 2004.

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Boone Bio

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USC baseball alum Bret Boone is the first third-generation baseball player in Major League Baseball history. The former three-time all star published a book to tell 70 years of stories about "baseball's first family."

Click here for more on Home Game.

Bret Boone is the grandson of former big leaguer Ray Boone and the son of former MLB player and manager Bob Boone. He is also the brother of former all-star Aaron Boone, another fellow Trojan.

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Rowing to NCAAs

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No. 12 USC women's rowing is headed to the NCAA Championships for the eight consecutive time and 10th time overall. This year's national regatta, featuring 22 teams, will take place on Lake Natoma in Gold River, CA, from May 27-29.

Click here for more.

The Women of Troy, who are coming off a fifth place finish at the Pac-12 Championships, will try to top their program-best fourth place showing in 2013. Only one Trojan boat has ever won an individual national title - the 1998 varsity four.

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More Runs for Ramirez

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As the 11th-best hitter in the Pac-12 conference with a .331 batting average, USC's AJ Ramirez is enjoying a very solid offensive season. His stat sheet grew even more impressive in the Trojans' Tuesday night victory over UC Irvine when the senior ripped off his second grand slam of the season, helping his team tally seven runs in the third inning alone. USC's 8-3 win brings its season record to 24-25 as it nears a crucial Pac-12 series against Oregon State this weekend.


With the bases loaded and a 1-0 lead in the third, Ramirez stepped to the plate and fired off his ninth overall homer of the year and third career grand slam on Tuesday. David Oppenheim, who leads the Pac-12 in batting average, was the only other Trojan with multiple RBIs on the day. The Trojans recorded eight runs on 13 hits with 10 different players tallying at least one hit in the victory. Freshman Marrick Crouse added power on the defensive side of the game, pitching five complete shutout innings and holding the Anteaters to just two hits in his first win of the year. 

The final two weeks of the regular season should be exciting for the Pac-12, as the conference's top 10 teams are separated by four games with six to play. USC's sixth-place conference record of 12-12 is tied with Oregon's and one better than Oregon State's at 11-13. Utah leads the conference with a 15-9 Pac-12 record.

The Trojans host the Beavers at Dedeaux Field this weekend with games at 7 p.m. PT, 1 p.m. PT and 12 p.m. PT on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively. All three games will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks. Be sure to follow @USC_Baseball for in-game updates, stats, photos and more!

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Defensive Guru

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As USC women's lacrosse prepares for its first-ever NCAA Quarterfinal this week (Saturday at Syracuse), the Women of Troy know that the old adage, "Defense wins championships," applies to their sport as well. In its undefeated run this season, USC has held 18 of its 20 opponents under 10 goals.

Devon Wills is Lindsey Munday's associate head coach and defensive coordinator. She also happens to be one of the best goalies in the world, backstopping Team USA to World Cup titles in 2009 and 2013.

Click here for ESPNW's new profile on Wills.

While most coaches tell stories about back when they used to play, Wills practices everything that she preaches. No Trojan would dare challenge her prowess in goal.

"I can be pretty competitive and pretty aggressive," Wills told ESPNW.

While she continues her playing career as the first draft pick of the Long Island Sound in the newly formed United Women's Lacrosse League, she is also bucking the notion that great players do not make great coaches. Wills has passed her passion down to her pupils, fortifying USC's defense, and building the foundation for a championship run.

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We're just over 100 days until the 2016 college football season, but it's never too early to start tracking which Trojans are making watch lists for this year's array of postseason awards. Leading the pack this offseason is USC junior OL Toa Lobendahn who was named to the Rimington Trophy Spring Watch List for the nation's top center.

Click here to see the complete watch list.

Lobendahn has 20 career starts between four different positions, returning in 2016 from knee surgery as one of USC's most versatile players. As a freshman in 2014, he made the Football Writers of America, USA Today and Phil Steele Freshman All-American lists. The junior will likely anchor a talented and experienced Trojan offensive line, and if the unit plays up to its potential this fall, there will be plenty of awards to go around.

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Trojan Rookie Check In

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The newest members of the National Football League have spent the last three weeks settling into their new homes, another step forward in the whirlwind first-year rookie experience. From their first practices at rookie mini camp to exploring the city to welcoming a mini-me into the world, USC's most recent class of NFL rookies have been busy. Catch up on the youngest #USCtotheNFL members...

Welcome to Washington

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Su'a Cravens, USC's highest-drafted player in 2016, was quick to dive into the Redskins' fanbase when he put his new jersey number up to popular vote after the draft. Now a stranger in a foreign land, the DB/LB is again taking to Twitter for a personal Yelp guide to the city. Whether for food recommendations, local entertainment or even a personal decorator, Cravens is open to suggestions.

With time on his hands in between the draft and Washington's rookie mini camp, Cravens eagerly got out and about to check out his new home, touring the capitol, dominating in recreational bowling and learning the hard way about D.C. taxis

But Cravens' real focus throughout the last three weeks has been on the football field, where he has already made a strong impression on the Redskins' staff. Four days on the practice field and several weeks in the playbook have some eyeing Cravens as a Top 25 rookie in the upcoming season.

Competition in Cleveland

Former USC captain and quarterback Cody Kessler heard his name called on Day Two of the NFL Draft, selected in the third round by the Browns, and in the weeks since coaches, teammates and analysts have been heaping praise on Clevelands' newest QB.

From former NFL No. 1 draft pick David Carr: "He can absolutely be the Browns' starting quarterback."

From head coach Hue Jackson: "I see, and saw, and will continue to see a guy who's going to ascend into the National Football League and play when the time's right."

Kessler, who battled for his starting spot at USC three years ago, is no stranger to competition or the challenge of leading a team amidst adversity. The newest member of the DawgPound isn't worried about what anyone thinks of him now, he's simply eager to get his shot.

"I'm excited," said Kessler during last week's mini camp. "I kind of love that pressure. I love the fact that they believe in me as well and I'm a guy that feels if he gets challenged, he's going to respond. I want to show that they can really trust me, that I'm a guy they can rely on."

Here's a look at his first day of mini camp...
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Love at First Sight

The furthest from home he's ever been, former USC CB and Bills sixth round draft pick Kevon Seymour is getting comfortable with Rex Ryan and the #BillsMafia after three weeks in Buffalo. And according to a recent story on BuffaloBills.com, Seymour's new team has reason to be excited about their late-round pick-up.

This offseason, Seymour had an eye-opening realization when the training staff he was working with for draft preparation had his vision tested. To his surprise, the NFL-hopeful discovered he had 20/60 vision with differing visual impairment in each eye that made depth perception extremely difficult. Frustrated by a lower ratio of interceptions to knocked down balls in college, the cornerback finally had an answer and an immediate solution in a new pair of contact lenses. The Bills realized the potential in Seymour, a speedy player with the physical qualities and skills necessary to excel in the NFL, and are eager to see how much better the cornerback is playing with clear vision for the first time.

"I'm definitely seeing clearer. My depth perception is much better. And I'm tracking the ball down much better," Seymour said on NFL Network this week. "The first day [of rookie mini camp] my head was spinning a lot. But the second day, third day I caught on to it and I was playing much faster and I was way more comfortable."

Quick Hits

Still recovering from offseason ACL surgery, former USC center Max Tuerk was limited to mental reps in San Diego Chargers mini camp last week.

Congratulations to newly-signed Tennessee Titan Antwaun Woods who welcomed his first child, Antwaun Woods Jr., into the world on May 12! The former USC defensive lineman will continue competing for a Titans' roster spot through OTAs and mini camp.

Former USC defensive end Greg Townsend Jr. is looking to continue the legacy his father started with the Oakland Raiders. Townsend Sr. is the team's all-time sack leader and contributed to the team's Super Bowl XVIII-winning squad.

The recent tradition of USC-Hawks, Trojans making their NFL home with the Seattle Seahawks in the Pacific Northwest, continues this offseason as former USC RB Tre Madden joined the team, and former teammate George Farmer, as an undrafted free agent. D.J. Morgan worked out with the pair at the Seahawks' mini camp on a tryout basis. 
Happily reunited at USC this spring, brothers Josh and Daniel Imatorbhebhe raised the bar at their Otter Pops Quiz, acing the toughest of questions that only siblings would know. 

Come for the debate on whether Josh snores, stay for his solo rendition of Maroon 5's "Sunday Morning"...

Time for the Tide

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USC's season opener against Alabama in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday, September 3, will kick off at 7 p.m. CT/5 p.m. PT and be broadcast live nationally by ABC.

The eighth annual AdvoCare Classic pits two of college football's powerhouses against each other for the first time since 1985. USC and Alabama have combined to win 27 national championships and eight Heisman Trophies.

USC's allotment of tickets for the game has been sold out, but the game's organizer will conduct a public sale of tickets in mid-June through Ticketmaster. We will publicize the ticket sale link when it is released.

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Photo Gallery: Championship Drama

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While 26-0 is as dominant as season's get, USC women's water polo did not come by that final victory easily. Stanford pushed the Women of Troy to the brink in the NCAA Title Match before Stephania Haralabidis delivered the exclamation point on perfection by sailing in the championship-winning goal with six seconds left in regulation.

Click here for more.

What ensued from that point forward can loosely be termed as a pool party. Enjoy the anxiety and the ecstasy of John McGillen's national championship photo gallery.