Spring Storylines: Special Teams

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USC football experienced a special teams revolution in 2010 under the guidance of John Baxter.  The Trojans blocked nine kicks, returned a punt and kickoff for touchdowns and scored numerous two-point conversions.

Heidari-Water.jpgIn 2011, Baxter will likely tab freshmen Andre Heidari (photo right with Baxter) and Kris Albarado to handle the placekicking and punting responsibilities respectively.  However, walk-ons Craig McMahon and Kyle Negrete are competing to make sure that the freshmen earn their spots.

While Baxter and company await Albarado's arrival, Heidari has made an instant impression as a spring entrant.  "Right now, he should be worried about who is going to the prom with him," Baxter joked.  "This has been really good for his development though."

In the return game, Nickell Robey and Robert Woods look like the most explosive returners, but Baxter has taken a look at Curtis McNeal, Brandon Carswell, Anthony Brown and others.

While Robey and Woods were protected a bit as true freshmen, there will be no workload restrictions this season.

"Robey and Woods have really uncommon maturity, work ethic and savvy for their age," Baxter praised. 

Click play to meet true freshman kicker Andre Heidari!

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