Tough coming back

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It's a bittersweet time for Joe Danelo.

Danelo is returning Friday to be a guest coach at the USC's high school kicking camp, which has been named in honor of his son Mario, who tragically died in January 2007 following two seasons as the Trojans' starting kicker.

"I really do enjoy coming back, but it is hard sometimes," said Danelo, who had a 10-year career as an NFL kicker. "This is a wonderful, wonderful place and I'm so glad Mario chose to come here. In some ways it's sad, but I think about the good stuff."

Coach Carroll always invites Danelo and his wife Emily back to take part in program activities because "it gives them a chance to get with the team and connect with the guys," he said.

"They'll always be a part of our family," said Carroll, whose relationship with Danelo dates back to 1984 when Danelo was the Buffalo Bills' starting kicker and Carroll was an assistant coach.

The Danelos surely appreciate Carroll and the program's support and welcoming spirit.

"I can't say enough good things about USC," Danelo said. "If someone is being recruited by several other schools and they come here and meet the staff, I don't know why they'd want to go anywhere else. You feel good with your kid here, you're leaving them in good hands."

Mario Danelo set several records in his two seasons as the starter at USC, including an NCAA-record 83 PATs made in 2005. In the 2007 season-opener at the Coliseum -- the Trojans' first game since his death -- USC paid homage to Mario in one of the most touching tributes ever seen in sports when the extra-point team lined up in a "missing man formation." See it here:

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