Proceeds from the event help fund USC football scholarships and a variety of year-long TFAC charitable and social events and programs.
Registration is available online.
Moments ago, Taylor Mays became first Trojan selected in the 2010 draft, as he was taken by the San Francisco 49ers with the 17th pick in the second round (49th overall).
Mays joins former USC offensive lineman Chilo Rachal with the 49ers. He'll also face his former coach, Pete Carroll, twice a year, as San Francisco and Seattle are both members of the NFC West division.
We wish Taylor the best of luck with his new team and look forward to watching him perform on Sundays!
Huzzah! The live blog of USC's Saturday scrimmage returns for another afternoon of (hopefully) sun and (definitely) pigskin. Saturday marks the penultimate spring intrasquad scrimmage for the Trojans, and precedes the final game, which will be played a week later at the Coliseum and is open to the public. By the way, you can buy your tickets to the noon May 1 Coliseum scrimmage here.
If you've joined RipsIt the past two weekends for the coverage, well, you know the drill. Visit the blog around 11 a.m. on Saturday to hear RipsIt and live blog regular Stephanie Graves dish out the details on the action. As always, feel free to send us your questions and chat with the other Trojan fans.
After the scrimmage, look for the standard regimen of recaps, photos and stats to provide further details from the practice.
While the coaches spent much of Friday in meetings preparing for Saturday's practice and scrimmage, they did take some time during the lunch hour to pose for a coat-and-tie head shot that will be used in publications and other media outlets.
The USC sports information office has a supply of various-sized white dress shirts and cardinal-colored jackets, along with pre-knotted cardinal ties, that the coaches can quickly slip on for their snapshots. All told, the process takes about a minute or two.
Next week, headshots will be taken of USC's new players, along with any returning players who want an updated portrait because their "look" has changed.
The biggest challenge for longtime USC photographer Dan Avila: getting the coaches and players to smile.
The latest installment of "Project Trojan" is now online at USCTrojans.com and available to All-Access members. This episode details USC's Pro Day experience, as the Trojans' NFL hopefuls ran through drills in front of dozens of pro scouts. It's especially timely with the NFL Draft currently in progress.
Members can click here to view.
The USC coaching staff introduced a new goal line drill at practice this past Tuesday and it was enthusiastically received by the players. With music blaring and players from the offense and defense yelling nearby, the ball was placed at the 2-yard line. As was documented in this practice Dispatch, the offense scored 4 times and the defense stopped them 4 times...before the coaches decided to run 5 more plays, in which the defense was victorious 4 times.
Here's a look at one of those big defensive stops. To say that the Trojan defensive players got a little excited with the result is an understatement. Enjoy the coaches video, from sideline and end zone angles.
For only the second time since the 2003 NFL Draft, no USC player was selected in the first round today (the other time was 2007).
So those draft-eligible Trojans will have to wait at least another 19 hours--and likely endure a semi-sleepless night tossing and turning--to learn their pro football fate.
A reminder: the draft's second and third rounds begin on Friday at 3 p.m., while rounds 4 through 7 are on Saturday at 7 a.m. NFL Network and ESPN will supply the coverage.
But don't fret. There's a good chance that the names of USC players will be called often the rest of the way.
The No. 6-ranked USC men's volleyball team, the defending Mountain Pacific Sports Federation champion, travels to No. 3 Cal State Northridge for an MPSF tourney quarterfinal match this Saturday (April 24) at 7 p.m.
Tickets are on sale at the CSUN Ticket Office by calling 818-677-2488. They are $10 for adults and $5 for USC students. It's anticipated that tickets will sell quickly, so call now.
The Trojans are hot, having won 6 of their last 7 matches, and are hoping to get on a run similar to last year's that propelled them to the NCAA Championship final.
This is where it all began last year and the Trojan volleyballers once again need your support. So come on out to Northridge on Saturday night and cheer them on.
rain clouds are draped above USC's campus, but fear not RipsIt readers! Our
rain coat trash bag will keep us dry and the coverage - like the
impending rain - a-flowin'.
The conclusion of spring practice is fast-approaching, with only five more sessions, including today's and the May 1 scrimmage in the Coliseum. We'll be back after today's action wraps up to bring you the highlights and provide details on how the team continues to progress as it prepares for next season.
Also, if you're following the NFL draft, we'll be tweeting updates on any USC player news, should it take place while we're out at Howard Jones Field. Follow us here.
NFL Draft will be a three-day affair this year conducted out of
The first round will be held in prime time tonight (Thursday), starting at 4:30 p.m. PT. The second and third rounds will be on Friday at 3 p.m., while rounds 4 through 7 are on Saturday at 7 a.m.
* * *
Fourteen Trojans have a reasonable chance to get drafted this year:
And if they don't get picked, then they and the other 2009 Trojan seniors listed below are eligible to be signed as free agents:
Some USC draft facts:
- In its history, USC has had 457 players drafted by the NFL. That's second only to Notre Dame's 462.
- USC has had more first round NFL
draft picks (74) than any other school.
- USC is tied with Notre Dame for
most players selected as the top pick of the NFL Draft (5).
- Last year, a national-best 11 USC players were drafted. That was the second year in a row--and third time in 4 years--that USC had more players drafted than any other school. It was also the third time in those 4 years that USC had at least 10 players drafted.
Here's what a couple NFL draft experts said last year about selecting USC players:
- ESPN's Herm Edwards, the former NFL head coach: "If you want to play pro football and you're a young high school athlete, you know going to USC is going to give you the best opportunity system-wise and competitive-wise on the field. That's what USC brings to the table. That's why historically, year after year, you see all these players coming into the league."
- ESPN's Ron Jaworski, the ex-NFL quarterback: "It's competition. It's fierce competition every day you go out on the USC practice field. Not only on Saturday when they play the game. Every day they're competing at the highest level."
By: Stephanie Graves
It is no secret that the lives and practices of the Trojan Marching Band often parallel that of the USC football team, this afternoon being no exception. Today, the Spirit of Troy's annual spring competition took place, but unlike the team who is trying to fill 22 starting positions, the band only had to fill one:
The USC Drum Major.
Often referred to as "Tommy Trojan" due to the tunic and armor he dons on game day, the Drum Major is the highest ranking student leader in the band and is often looked as the embodiment of "The Spirit of Troy" itself. It takes an entire semester of training before one can even be prepared to audition. Subsequently, the entire summer is devoted to preparing for the newly selected leader's Fall Debut.
Last Year, Kenny Morris stepped in the leather sandals of this Trojan Warrior and has spent the past year carrying the very much iconic sword.
"You don't really think about it until you get to this point," reflects Morris. "But it was one of the greatest experiences of my entire life."
Today he passed that experience, and
the sword, on to 21-year-old Tim Larson. The junior neuroscience major from
And so the second chapter of the journey began.
"Being so close last year drove me to work even harder," recalls Larson. "I was constantly practicing and going over the things I needed to go over. If I wasn't practicing, I was thinking about it. I really pushed myself as hard as I could to go for it."
Now with two years of constant dedication finally over, the dream that was born his very first day of band camp as a freshman is a reality.
Upon returning for his final year with the Trojan Marching Band, the newly crowned Drum Major is looking forward to bringing his relentless spirit and enthusiasm to the rest of the self proclaimed Greatest Marching Band in the History of the Universe.
"I can't wait to instill that feeling in other people," says Larson.
Tim Larson is not only a student and veteran trumpet player, but a dancer and athlete as well. He spent his first two years at USC as a hurdler on track team and recently joined the Break on 2 Latin Fusion Dance team. We are sure he will use his versatility to relate to, inspire and lead his fellow bandsmen.
All 325 of them.
last Saturday's scrimmage, Kiffin voiced his displeasure with the running
game. Asked today if that feeling still held
up after he watched video of the scrimmage, he said: "We weren't consistent up front. We weren't consistent with the backs. And the receivers didn't block well. That all has been addressed. It was good to have that happen now."
- In his post-practice huddle with the media, head coach Lane Kiffin said: "The guys came out with a lot of energy. They responded well. They focused today."
- As has been the pattern throughout spring ball, the Trojans spent a significant portion of the early part of practice working on special teams play and then an extended amount of time on offensive and defensive fundamentals.
- During the 11-on-11 team run drills on Brian Kennedy Field, the top run was a 30-yard scoring sweep around the left end by tailback Allen Bradford, while there were also a pair of long play action scoring passes to wide receivers Brandon Carswell (on a streak from quarterback Mitch Mustain) and Brice Butler (on a slant from quarterback Matt Barkley). Then, during the subsequent team passing period, the highlight completion was Mustain's aerial to fullback Stanley Havili.
wideouts showed up well in the full team period that usually ends each
practice, with Carswell,
- The coaches introduced a new drill to conclude today's practice, a goal line drill from the 2-yard line, complete with blaring music. "It was our first shot at short yardage and goal line, so we tried to create an energetic environment," said Kiffin. "We wanted to make it like a game, to make it realistic. We had no penalties during the drill. I was pleased that our players were able to maintain their focus in a highly energetic environment...The guys played hard. There were some good plays on offense and good plays on defense." The drill appeared to finish as a stalemate, with the offense scoring 4 times (on 3 Bradford runs and a catch by tight end Blake Ayles of a Mustain pass that was deflected at the line by defensive end Malik Jackson) and the defense stopping them 4 times. But after the horn sounded signifying the end of practice, the players called for more. So they ran 5 more plays from the 2-yard line and this time the defensive shut down all but once (only a Bradford sweep where he bowled over linebacker Malcolm Smith at the goal line was successful).
- Barkley spent more time during and after practice working as a holder for the placekickers.
- Defensive tackle Hebron Fangupo participated throughout practice (he had been slowed while recovering from last year's ankle injury), leading Kiffin to remark that having him back "adds to the competition on the defensive line. We now have eight guys there we're excited about."
- What do the injured players do during practice? Well, they spend the entire session off on a side field rehabbing and conditioning with trainers and strength coaches. From the looks of it, they work as hard as their healthy teammates. Today, this group included Martin Coleman, Torin Harris, Butch Lewis, De'Von Flournoy, Allen Noble, Spencer Spiegel, Rhett Ellison and Brian Baucham.
Here's head coach Lane Kiffin and his thoughts on Tuesday's practice.
The first episode of "Project Trojan: 2010 Spring Football" is now available for free viewing at USCTrojans.com. Click here for the direct link.
The show includes exclusive practice footage as well as interviews with head coach Lane Kiffin, assistant coach Ed Orgeron, quarterback Matt Barkley and linebacker Malcolm Smith as they go through the opening days of spring ball.
While this episode is free, future "Project Trojan" episodes will be part of the premium content on USCTrojans.com's All-Access platform, so sign up here.
Next week, look for an episode highlighting the Pro Day experience of the draft-eligible Trojans.
Back by popular demand, RipsIt will again be live blogging Saturday's scrimmage to relay all the happenings from Howard Jones Field.
We had a tremendous following and interaction with all of you during the live from last Saturday's scrimmage. We had fun reading all your comments, answering your questions and chatting with the best fans in the world. So happy, in fact, that we're considering making the live blog a standard part of RipsIt for all future USC scrimmages (including the May 1 Spring Football Game at the Coliseum) as well as the regular season home games next year.
As for tomorrow, Stephanie Graves will also be returning to help respond to user questions and provide her own observations of the action. So don't be shy to keep us on our toes with plenty of comments and feedback. Oh, and it'll be a full day for Stephanie, because as soon as the scrimmage is over she'll rush over to the McDonald's Swim Stadium and join her Trojan Marching Band-mates as they perform at Swim With Mike (look for her; she plays the mellophone).
Check back in at this very location around 11 a.m. tomorrow to get the color commentary on the sights and sounds of Saturday's practice.
Or, if you'd prefer to watch the scrimmage in-person, click here to find out how you can get your pass into Howard Jones Field.
Either way, we hope to see you then!
Here are a couple reports that were filed yesterday by ESPN's Pac-10 blogger, Ted Miller, following his visit to USC:
Miller's practice notes are here.
Miller's video chat with linebacker Malcolm Smith is here.
Miller also had a lengthy sitdown interview with Lane Kiffin and he should be posting that story soon.
The furniture movers are here again today, with another truckload of new desks, chairs and other items to install in the coaches offices.
This time, the furniture is mainly earmarked for the defensive coaches, so the movers are waiting for the defensive staff meeting to break and the coaches to go off to lunch before the installation process can be completed.
There's no football practice today for the Trojans, but Lane Kiffin and his staff are in the office preparing for Saturday's practice, which will include another intrasquad scrimmage.
But if the Trojan coaches seem to be dragging a bit today, they have an excuse. They put in a 20-hour day yesterday.
April 15 is the first day that the
NCAA allows football coaches to call current high school juniors, so the Trojan
coaches were all up at 3 a.m. to start making those calls. They didn't
waste a minute dialing up recruits across the country, another testament to the
attitude and drive Kiffin and his staff have towards recruiting.
April 15 is the first day that the NCAA allows football coaches to call current high school juniors, so the Trojan coaches were all up at 3 a.m. to start making those calls. They didn't waste a minute dialing up recruits across the country, another testament to the attitude and drive Kiffin and his staff have towards recruiting.
Because the Trojans also practiced
yesterday afternoon, the coaches didn't get out of the office until 11 p.m.
because they were reviewing the practice video. They were back in
Heritage Hall this morning getting ready for tomorrow's scrimmage.
Because the Trojans also practiced yesterday afternoon, the coaches didn't get out of the office until 11 p.m. because they were reviewing the practice video. They were back in Heritage Hall this morning getting ready for tomorrow's scrimmage.
So, the coffee pot in the football
office is getting refilled often today.
So, the coffee pot in the football office is getting refilled often today.
Here's a list of a few things that can be accomplished in a 30 hour time span:
USC's men's and women's swim teams elected to go with the latter, combining to swim for 30 consecutive hours for this year's 30th anniversary of Swim with Mike.
The teams began their marine marathon this morning at 8 a.m. and will continue until 2 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday April 17).
To sponsor any of the swimmers from either team, click here. And if you want to simply cheer on your fellow Trojans, head over to McDonalds Pool on the USC campus sometime within the next 27 hours.
"It was a pretty decent Tuesday practice," said USC head coach Lane Kiffin. "I was really impressed with the offensive line. We only had 6 offensive linemen today and they all did well."
--Once again, a good portion of the early practice (45 minutes) was devoted to special teams fundamentals.
of receivers made nice catches and/or big plays, including Travon Patterson,
Robbie Boyer, Ronald Johnson, Kyle Prater, Brice Butler, David Ausberry and
Jordan Cameron. Prater outdueled
cornerback Shareece Wright in a one-on-one drill, followed soon after by a
--The hit of the day might have been linebacker Devon Kennard's crunching blow on tight end Jordan Cameron.
--In run drills, tailback Allen Bradford charged up the middle and broke through several tacklers for an impressive long gain.
--The practice ended with a 2-minute drill. Linebacker Malcolm Smith ended one drive with a pass deflection that brought the entire defense unit alive. Then safety T.J. McDonald, on first-and-goal from the 9-yard line and 2 seconds on the clock, made an endzone interception that concluded the day's practice.
Trojans experimented with the Wildcat formation for a few plays, with tailback
Dillon Baxter lined up at quarterback. "It's
something I've done at the last two places I coached (Oakland Raiders and
--There was a new player wearing a gold quarterback jersey: defensive end James Boyd. The coaches told him yesterday they were switching him back to the position he played in high school (he threw for 4,266 yards and 44 touchdowns as a 2008 senior at Los Angeles Jordan High) and he jumped at the opportunity. "I was happy when they told me," the 6-5, 250-pound Boyd said. "I've got to get back into quarterback shape now. I spent the whole past year getting bigger to play defensive line. I have a lot to learn and I have to get my mechanics down. But I'm excited." Said Kiffin: "We're thin in our quarterback depth. James did some really good things at quarterback in high school. He has a big time arm."
--Kiffin was asked his analysis about last Saturday's scrimmage, now that he was able to watch video of it: "I didn't like the defense in the first half and the offense in the second half. It was a great lesson for the offense, which didn't come out with the same energy in the second half. But I thought Matt Barkley had an unbelievable downfield day throwing the ball."
--Cornerback T.J. Bryant and wide receiver De'Von Flournoy, who both shared jersey No. 1, have been assigned different numbers. Bryant is now No. 38 and Flournoy is No. 81. "We have some special numbers here at USC, like No. 1 and No. 43, which have been worn by some dominant players in the past," said Kiffin. "I'm not sure either of those players are operating at that level yet. They need to earn that number, to deserve it."
were a number of former Trojan players who watched the first half of practice
before heading to the
--One of the referees who has been working most of this spring's USC practices is Jim Farmer, who has officiated many BCS-conference games. He's very familiar with the campus; his late father, Herb, was a professor in the USC School of Cinematic Arts for more than 70 years and also shot Trojan football coaching films from the roof of the Coliseum press box.
--Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich and some of his staff members stopped by to watch part of practice and say hello to Kiffin.
--Kiffin had a surprise visit at the end of practice from his wife, Layla, and their 3 children, Landry, Presley and Knox.
Pete Carroll might have moved on, but Ricky Rosas--who was the "Special Assistant to the Head Coach" during the final few years of Carroll's tenure--still makes appearances in the Trojan football offices and at practice.
The 4-foot-8, 100-pound Rosas gained national attention while helping out the Trojans. He is developmentally disabled as a result of juvenile cancer, but he made a 90-minute bus ride from his home in East L.A. to USC nearly each day for those past few seasons to perform various duties for the Trojan football program, including handing out water at practices and running errands for the coaches.
He is now a 21-year-old sophomore at
His academic schedule has somewhat limited his ability to get to USC as often as the past few years, but he still shows up to help whenever he can...still taking that long bus ride.
And he's truly excited about the new coaching staff--he got to know new USC head coach Lane Kiffin during Kiffin's first tour of duty at Troy--and the 2010 Trojans.
"The coaches are great guys and I'm glad they're here," said Rosas, as he prepared to go out to today's spring practice. "I'm looking forward to another great season. I can't wait. The team looks good. They all look like they've gotten better. And the new players are everything people said they'd be."
Rosas has a message for Trojan fans: "I want to thank all of them for supporting me in everything I have done here. USC means the world to me and everybody here means everything to me. They're like family to me."
When the Trojans have their first scrimmage of spring ball this Saturday (tomorrow), join USCRipsIt at 11 a.m. for a live blog covering the sights and sounds of the intra-squad game. Readers are welcome to sign in and chat with USCRipsIt and other Trojan fans looking to get up-to-the-minute details of the action.
The Live blog will be hosted right here on USCRipsIt, so check back tomorrow at 11 a.m. to get in on the inside scoop.
Individual Day Performance
Jordan Thompson - Men's Water Polo
Female Individual Day Performance
Zsofia Erdelyi - Track
Ahmad Rashad -Track
Record Breaking Performance
Rebecca Soni - Swimming
Best Athlete - Female
Kami Craig- Women's Water Polo
Best Athlete Male (tie)
Robert Farah - Tennis
Damian Williams - Football
Female Best Team of the Year
Male - Best Team of the Year
Male Trojan of the Year
Female Trojan of the Year
Coach of the Year
Staff of the Year
The Trojans' first spring practice in full pads today invoked heavy doses of physical play, which drew plenty of "oohs" and "aahs" from the large turnout of spectators. On a near-perfect sunny Saturday afternoon, Head Coach Lane Kiffin pushed his squad through what he described as a "very physical, very long practice." Practice lasted two and a half hours. A few highlights from the Trojans third spring practice of the year...
- Junior tailback Allen Bradford, typically known for his punishing style of play with the ball in his hands, demonstrated his ability to deliver big hits as a blocker as well. During a drill where Bradford was assigned to protect the punter, he not only succeeded in blocking his opponent, but pile-driving him into the ground.
- Freshman Kyle Prater just might have suction cups on his hands. The wideout who enrolled early this past semester reeled in a one-handed, outstretched grab on a post-route pass from freshman quarterback Matt Barkley, and later hauled in a fade route with his arms extended over the top of a defender.
- Junior tailback CJ Gable had little trouble finding paydirt, as he scored three times in full squad drills from 5, 10 and 30 yards. Gable also made a nice adjustment on a tipped pass from Barkley, snagging the ball and turning the play into a 50-yard gain with a few jukes and evasive moves. His play certainly grabbed the attention of his head coach, who expressed that he was "excited" about the tailback's performance.
- Recent Trojans Everson Griffen, Anthony McCoy and NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Brian Cushing stopped by to watch practice.
- The first day of padded practice often comes with its normal amount of bumps and bruises. Among the players nicked today were safety Marshall Jones (neck), offensive tackles Martin Coleman (ankle), Matt Kalil (hip) and Kevin Graf (ankle), defensive tackle Hebron Fangupo (ankle), fullbacks DJ Shoemate (hamstring) and Stanley Havili (shoulder), tailback Dillon Baxter (quad), and linebacker Marquis Simmons (neck). Kiffin noted that it would benefit the team "to be able to work through injuries."
The Trojans resume their practice schedule on Tuesday, keeping with the Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday agenda.
Good morning, RipsIt Blog readers!
Now that Ben Malcolmson and his incredible talent has moved on to the Seattle Seahawks, and while the USC athletic department is diligently searching for his permanent replacement, this blog will continue with some pinch-hitters covering spring football.
I'm one of them...and appropriately, my name also is Ben. Ben Weiss. I'm a junior public relations major at USC who hails from the east coast. I've been around the football program through my internship with the USC sports information office. I know I'm not Ben Malcolmson (heck, nobody is!), but I'll do my best to fill in temporarily and keep the loyal USCRipsIt readers informed about the happenings surrounding the Trojan football program.
We're also working on getting a couple guests to share their perspectives on a periodic basis.
I'll be back after this morning's practice--the first day in full pads--with a report.