We will release the intro video at kickoff on the blog, Facebook and Twitter, but here is a sneak peek.
August 2011 Archives
We will release the intro video at kickoff on the blog, Facebook and Twitter, but here is a sneak peek.
Click here for the complete story.
The gift was donated in the name of Mehdi Khosroshahin, the father of current head coach Ali Khosroshahin.
"My dad got me here, and now he's our number one fan," said Ali Khosroshahin. "For me, this really honors my father's dedication to education and the sacrifices he made personally to give his children a better life."
Left-handed pitcher Tom Milone hit the mark when the Nationals called him up this week to start Saturday against the Mets. He was Washington's minor league pitcher of the year in 2010.
Click here for the full story!
Milone will be the third Trojan to make his major league debut this season joining former college teammates Ryan Cook and Anthony Vasquez.
- The injury list is down to OG Abe Markowitz, RB Amir Carlisle and WR De'Von Flournoy. If Markowitz cannot go, the left guard spot will come down to Jeremy Galten, who worked with the ones today, and Martin Coleman.
- USC will actually add a player tomorrow with the long awaited arrival of Javorious "Buck" Allen (pictured). The power running back was cleared by the NCAA and will begin classes Friday.
- From a format perspective, today was a Thursday practice. Tomorrow will be a second Thursday practice. Thursday practices tend to be less physical.
- Scary play of the day: Safety Demetrius Wright and corner Anthony Brown crashed into each other going for a deep ball. Both players stayed down for a moment, but popped up and jogged off.
- Plays of the Day: A Curtis McNeal two-part series. First, the 5'7" running back lifted Devon Kennard on a blitz pick-up and slammed him to the ground. Later, he closed practice by diving for a TD at the pylon, which brought the offense into a spontaneous chorus of the fight song.
- The kickers took a field trip to the Coliseum midway through practice. Freshman Andre Heidari was distracted by the massive new scoreboard. "I got the chills just walking in there today, so it is going to be fun," he said.
- The Trojans were supposed to have a true freshman kicker and punter this season, but veteran Kyle Negrete beat Kris Albarado for the punting gig. We'll have a feature later today on Negrete.
- As for Heidari, he hopes to live up to his camp reputation as a kicker who thrives under game pressure. "In games, I can really focus and put my mind on the situation," said Heidari who did not miss a kick in the scrimmages.
- Will he be nervous? "First game jitters will be there for sure," he admitted. "I'm going to have to get over it and focus on kicking it through the uprights."
- Staying with freshman, Lane Kiffin believes Lamar Dawson could be one of the "five to eight" true freshmen around the country who make a "significant impact."
- USC is a heavy favorite Saturday, but Kiffin is not worried about the Trojans taking the Gophers lightly. "I would be shocked if we were overconfident," he said. "We haven't done anything."
- As for pressure, "The expectation here is to win every game that we play," the head coach said.
- Here's Kiffin...
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The app has 18 different interactive buttons to handle your every need on the day of the game.
You can see the second-by-second countdown to kickoff or find a tailgate. You can read up on the day's opponent or buy gear from the team store.
The comprehensive maps inside the Coliseum enable users to see the view from their seats, find the eateries and bathrooms closest to their section and quickly alert security of any safety issue.
We are working on developing the app for Android platforms.
The giveaways include a flat screen TV, football tickets for the Cal weekender and a chance to run out of the Coliseum tunnel with the football team.
Along with Mr. Lost Angeles, the student-athletes, Trojan Marching Band, Song Girls and Spirit Leaders will be on stage getting you revved up for Saturday's football game and all the fall sports.
Photos by John McGillen...
The NCAA title will be decided at famed Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades from May 29 to June 3.
The Trojans expect to have a contending team led by Pac-10 champion Martin Trainer, senior Steve Lim and the nation's top recruit Anthony Paolucci.
Click here for the full story.
The 1957 graduate from the USC Marshall School of Business is a successful businessman and race horse owner and also is a dedicated philanthropist. In 1972, he founded Public Storage, the nation's largest self-storage company.
He has owned and bred thoroughbred racehorses since 1972, with his colt Action This Day winning the 2003 Breeders' Cup and Eclipse Award, and since 2004 he has operated historic Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky. He is involved in numerous charitable activities, including with the Parker Hughes Cancer Center.
Hughes and his fellow inductees will be honored at an induction dinner on May 12, 2012, at USC's Galen Center.
Click the file to learn more:
Alexander - McKeever Field Press Release - 8-25-11.doc
- Abe Markowitz is still out, so the left guard spot is still up in the air.
- RB Amir Carlisle came out during practice, but he is expected back tomorrow.
- LB Chris Galippo practiced fully and is expected to start the opener. "I'm still nervous about it," said Lane Kiffin about his middle linebacker. "This is a lot different than a real game. We'll throw him out there and hopefully, he'll do well."
- While USC has already lost some players for the season, the calculated risk of tackling during camp was deemed a success today by the head coach. "We're more physical because of it," he said.
- Wide receiver turned QB Marqueis Gray (photo by AP) is the headline player for Minnesota. "We're going to have our hands full," Kiffin said about Gray, who is listed at 240 pounds. "They've done a great job with running quarterbacks. This is a very, very big challenge for our defense right off the bat."
- Jerry Kill is the new coach at Minnesota after a three-year stint at Northern Illinois. "They've done the same thing for years," Kiffin said about watching film of Kill's old teams. "This is going to be a big match-up for us against a very physical defense and an offense that is extremely well coached."
- Several freshman are expected to contribute Saturday, but Kiffin is equally worried about the veterans who have never really played. "You are a true freshman until you play. There are going to be a lot of big eyes Saturday."
- T.J. McDonald will bring experience and leadership as a defensive captain. "I kind of saw it coming from the spring and the way the guys have accepted me in that captain role," said McDonald who joins his dad on the list of USC football captains. "I learned it by the way that I was brought up."
- The secondary is happy to put a rough 2010 campaign in the rear-view. "We want shutouts," said McDonald about the more confident defensive back group. "We don't want them catching the ball at all. We're fighting for every inch."
- McDonald will be paired with Jawanza Starling on the first team Saturday. "Jawanza and I are on the same level as far as communication," McDonald said. "He's improved a lot since last year."
- McDonald rocked Dillon Baxter during an early portion of practice, which got the defense all fired up. "I'm ready to hit somebody that's not wearing Cardinal and Gold!" he exclaimed.
- As for practice highlights, the passing game looked sharp during the team portion. Matt Barkley was in his typical rhythm with Robert Woods, but he also hit Brice Butler for a few big plays. Butler had his great start to camp stunted by minor injuries, but he looks healthy now.
- Play of the day: Freshman DT J.R. Tavai, who will almost definitely redshirt after missing most of camp, batted a pass up to himself for an interception.
- Here is Lane Kiffin...
The program consists of daily calisthenics, mostly "trotting" and push-ups/sit-ups, and zero weight training. The whole routine likely added up to 30 minutes of exercise per day.
The current USC strength and conditioning team led by Aaron Ausmus creates a plan that is quite a bit more comprehensive than the 60s. In the summer leading into camp, the players work out 90 minutes per day, four to five days per week.
In the McKay era, they wanted to make sure the players were fit. Now, they are tasked with making the team faster, stronger and more athletic.
While Ausmus and company are with the team year round, they send out an introductory packet to the signees who cannot lift with USC's staff until camp starts. As opposed to a two-page letter, the recruiting class receives a full manual with a DVD that includes explanations on how to do every single exercise and drill. Even more, each student-athlete receives a February to August calendar with day-by-day instructions.
Upon arrival, each player undergoes a battery of tests for strength, speed, power, size and measurements, so they can document annual progress. While they had no plan to build muscle in the old days, a skill position player could gain upwards of 10 to 15 pounds of muscle in their first year.
In 1964, they only had two weeks to whip the team into fighting shape before the opener. Technically, camp is about a month long now, but the strength and conditioning staff never really stops working to build championship athletes.
Click the photos to enlarge! Here is the workout plan...
This season, we have worked to improve traffic flow around Exposition Park and the USC campus. We have developed an integrated traffic plan that will improve traffic flow and ease entry and exit from Coliseum parking lots.
You will see more traffic control officers in the streets, improved and increased signage, and a united approach to traffic management.
Plus, all parking around the Coliseum is now reserved on a lot-by-lot basis. Click here for a map to see where your lot is!
Each of our support group members have been assigned to a specific lot for the entire season. You will notice more visible parking permits, improved training of parking lot attendants and new lighting and re-surfacing in many of the Coliseum parking lots.
If you don't have reserved parking, we encourage you to park in the structures on campus. Click here for a map of the on campus lots!
All the Trojan action will be called by Adrean Garcia Marquez with Jorge Caamano and Alex Russo handling the analysis and sideline.
The broadcast includes a 20 minute pre-game show, which will begin this Saturday at 12:10 p.m. before the Minnesota kickoff. And, they will stay on the air for a 15 minute post-game report.
This is the first year that USC has had a Spanish language broadcast since 2007.
ARod forced overtime with a late equalizer for the Philadelphia Independence. However, Western New York won the title in penalties prompting Rodriguez to tweet, "#TheSummerofSilverMedals."
Here is a look at the former Trojans' goal:
Click here for the full story!
Men's volley junior Maddison McKibbin sent along a pic of the USA beach crew with familiar USC faces.
Top row: Women's sand volley head coach Anna Collier (3rd from left), Geena Urango (3rd from right) and Tony Ciarelli (far right).
Bottom row: Jeff Carlson (left) and Maddison McKibbin (right).
- The football team had Saturday off after a grueling week. Instead of practicing, they spent the day at the pool and dined on chicken and waffles (courtesy of Ed Orgeron).
- The boys worked hard today though in the afternoon heat, which will likely simulate the conditions of Saturday's 12:30 p.m. opener.
- The heat claimed one victim, freshman OL Aundrey Walker. Otherwise, the injury report continues to clear up. LB Chris Galippo is back competing and TE Christian Thomas did some limited work.
- The 2011 USC football captains: QB Matt Barkley, FB/TE Rhett Ellison, DT Christian Tupou and DB T.J. McDonald.
- Ellison on being named captain: "It's awesome. I'm just excited the team put me in that position."
- Speaking of Ellison, the fullback experiment is starting to look like a full-time gig. Soma Vainuku, who left practice today with a migraine, does not possess threatening skills as a receiver, which the USC offense demands. Ellison is an accomplished pass catcher who could play a big role coming out of the backfield.
- In his absence, Randall Telfer and Xavier Grimble will split the tight end duties. Telfer is the more explosive option, but Grimble is a sizable target in the red zone.
- Telfer has struggled with drops during camp, but he's been better lately. "I was thinking the wrong thing at the wrong time during practice," Telfer described the mental side of the game. "I have to move on to the next play and stop dwelling on the drops."
- Both Telfer and Grimble have waited a long time to make their Coliseum debuts. "I haven't played in a game in over a year," Telfer said. "I'm psyched!"
- At some point, Lane Kiffin will name all the starters, but the coach warned everybody not to get too hung up on the first names announced. "We're going to play a lot of guys," he said. "They'll be some positions that you'll see Saturday that will be 50-50 and there will be some positions that aren't as close that will be 75-25."
- John Martinez has solidified the right guard spot, but Jeremy Galten worked with the first team at left guard today over Martin Coleman. "Nobody will take it," Kiffin said. "We keep trying to give it away and nobody takes it."
- If Abe Markowitz is healthy, he'll start at left guard. He worked on the exercise bike before putting the walking boot back on his injured foot.
- The receivers and corners battled particularly hard in one-on-ones today. Robert Woods and Nickell Robey are the marquis match-up with Woods winning the only battle Sunday.
- Anthony Brown, who will be in the rotation against the Gophers, had the best technique jamming young George Farmer at the line of scrimmage. If you give Farmer a free release, he has exhibited the best straight line speed of the receiving corp.
- Greg Townsend Jr. was back at practice, so he has been cleared by the NCAA.
- Dedeaux Field got a nice green paint job (pictured).
- Here is Coach Kiffin....
Johnson earned a wild card bid into the main draw as the NCAA singles champion. The senior will return to Troy after spending the first semester trying his luck on tour.
On the game's biggest stage, Johnson will battle a familiar face in the first round in fellow American Alex Bogomolov Jr., who teamed with Johnson in the doubles last week in Cincinnati. The winner will likely face #6 Robin Soderling.
Farah, who won team and doubles national titles at USC, earned his spot in the field by battling through the qualifying rounds. The Colombian, who is a full-time tour pro, will battle Nicolas Mahut knowing that a win likely means a showdown with Rafael Nadal in round two.
Here is a tease of Lane Kiffin and Ed Orgeron wired for sound...
Position - Offensive Guard
Class - Freshman
Size - 6'3", 329 lbs. and dropping
Age - 17
High School - Crenshaw (Los Angeles)
Comparison - While he has not carved out a playing identity as of yet, he is a massive guard in the vein of Butch Lewis.
Prep Career - As a senior, he was named the L.A. City Offensive Lineman of the Year after helping Crenshaw to yet another city championship.
Fall Camp - Martin (photo by SCPlaybook.com) and fellow freshman Antwaun Woods have been competing in a "Biggest Loser" contest to shed all the extra pounds. He appeared to be a redshirt candidate until this past week when he started working with the first team at left guard.
In his own words - Martin on playing close to home at USC: "I can't even lie. It's like a dream! I still don't even feel like I'm here."
Here is local product Marcus Martin...
Trojan Ticket Transfer enables fans to electronically send their tickets to whomever will be using their seats that game. They print out new tickets, your old tickets are automatically canceled, and all with NO FEE.
Click here to transfer your tickets to a home game that you cannot attend.
Pat Haden has spoken many times about creating a "pit" at Galen Center and a home field advantage at the Coliseum, so he wants every seat filled.
Les and Bev Barkley are the inaugural co-chairs of the organization, which intends to engage student-athlete parents with the greater university community and bring parents together to support all 21 of our teams.
The board will feature parents representing every sport in an attempt to build camaraderie and support the athletic department.
In addition to parents of student-athletes, membership is open to all parents at USC who want to become involved with USC athletics. Click here to email us for more information.
- No new names on the injury report. "We're in pretty good shape," Lane Kiffin said.
- OG Abe Markowitz is wearing a boot on his injured foot. The x-rays were negative, but "It's causing him a lot of issues," said Kiffin.
- Martin Coleman worked with the first team at left guard. "With Abe outta there, somebody's got to do it," Kiffin said.
- Play of the day: Guess who? Marqise Lee made a wonderful over-the-shoulder diving catch in the corner of the end zone despite blanket coverage by Torin Harris. "He's just one of those unique players," Kiffin listed previous greats Mike Williams, Reggie Bush, Dwayne Jarrett and Robert Woods. "It seems like every day there's some significant, great, highlight play."
- Again though, Lee is still a freshman. Nickell Robey easily intercepted a Matt Barkley pass when Lee ran the wrong route.
- The offense tried to complete the same deep pass several times on Tony Burnett, but the corner stood up to the pressure. He's had a quiet camp, but Burnett is set to start the opener.
- Chris Galippo expects to be ready for full contact next week. "He's going to have to practice next week," said Kiffin about starting Galippo against Minnesota.
- The senior middle linebacker is not worried about his place atop the depth chart despite a strong camp push from freshman Lamar Dawson. "He's good to have there to take some reps off of me," Galippo said. "As far as I'm concerned, I'm getting ready to start September 3rd."
- Galippo is convinced the 2011 defense will be much improved because the defensive line has dominant potential. He was particularly effusive in his praise for Devon Kennard (photo by John McGillen). "He's probably the best pass rusher in the Pac-12 right now," said Galippo.
- The irony of Galippo's statement is that Kennard will likely not be listed as a starter on the brand new Coliseum video board next week. "I kind of consider all three of those guys as starters regardless of who goes out for the first snap," Kiffin said about Kennard, Nick Perry and Wes Horton.
- Of course, the defensive line could get even better next week if Armond Armstead returns. "He would put us over the top," the head coach said.
- The team will likely vote on captains this weekend. Galippo would be honored to wear the C on his chest. "When you come to SC, it's something that you strive to do," he admitted.
- Again, Saturday's practice is closed to everybody. We'll be back on the beat Sunday morning, but the time is still to be determined.
- Here's Coach Kiffin...
Click here to buy your tickets now!!!
We have reset the pricing plans to make season packages as a low as $150 or $275 per ticket in the lower bowl for the whole season.
Click here to learn more!
The Trojans have made the NCAA tournament in four of the last five seasons. This year's team should be fun to watch with Mo Jones running the show and athletic newcomers Dewayne Dedmon, Aaron Fuller and a loaded freshman class filling the lanes.
Here's how the team looks through the lens of John McGillen...
Just like football, USC will open with Minnesota on Friday at 3 p.m. pacific time on the Big Ten Network. On Saturday, Mick Haley's squad will take a run at the national champion Nittany Lions at 5 p.m. pacific time also on the Big Ten Network.
Both games will have live audio webcasts on USCTrojans.com.
The Trojans are led by All-American setter Kendall Bateman who is a candidate for the Lowe's Senior Class Award.
Click here to enter the auction!
The package includes two coveted pregame field passes, two VIP game tickets, two tailgate reservations, one parking pass and all three 2011 USC football posters.
We are currently accepting bids. The auction will be closed on August 29.
Position - WR
Class - Freshman
Size - 6'1", 205 lbs.
Age - 18
High School - Serra (Gardena)
Comparison - Farmer (photo by John McGillen) has a powerful 6'1" frame unlike any recent Trojans. He has a similar physique to current Ravens WR Anquan Boldin.
Prep Career - The U.S. Army All-American had 65 receptions for 1,514 yards and 14 TDs as a senior wide receiver at local power Serra. He also ran track and played hoops on top squads in the state.
Fall Camp - Farmer came in as the top receiver recruit in the country, but he has been slowed a little by a concussion. Recently, he has moved to the scout team to simulate Minnesota's mobile QB Marqueis Gray.
In his own words - Farmer on adjusting to the college game: "Some dudes, they adapt faster than others, but for me, it just took a little time."
Here is #88 George Farmer who would like to wear the coveted #1 jersey at USC someday...
- Freshman DT Antwaun Woods was approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse to rejoin the team, but DE Greg Townsend is forced to sit out, while he waits to be cleared.
- George Farmer (a.k.a. Gophers QB Marqueis Gray) left practice early with an undisclosed injury that did not appear serious.
- Otherwise, the injury report is clearing up a bit. Christian Tupou (knee) and Kyle Prater (photo by John McGillen) were sidelined during the session. Tupou continues to deal with periodic soreness in his rehabilitated knee.
- OG Abe Markowitz (foot) remains out, so freshman Marcus Martin and veteran Martin Coleman are battling for that spot. "He's really had a great week," said Kiffin about Martin, who has lost 18 pounds in the last two weeks. "We've got to force him in there to see if he ends up redshirting or playing for us."
- In preparation for Minnesota, the offense has installed the 1st, 2nd and 3rd down packages. They will work on the goal line and red zone game plan Friday.
- The coaching staff emphasized turnovers on both sides of the ball today. The defense won the battle forcing a pair of miscues. Shae Horton stepped in front of a Matt Barkley pass early in the session for a pick-six. And later on, Lamar Dawson made a great read to step in front of a wheel route by FB Soma Vainuku.
- RB Marc Tyler worked with the ones and twos early in the practice, but moved to service team during the scout session. "We're really trying to beat him up down on service team and make it game like," Kiffin said about getting him back in shape.
- The head coach admitted that they do not have a depth chart at running back. D.J. Morgan impressed today with several long runs. "D.J. is becoming more consistent where we feel better about him," Kiffin said. "He's still got to pick up the protection side of things, which is hard for all young running backs."
- The redshirt freshman agreed with Kiffin's assessment. "It's more protections," said Morgan about his needed improvements. "Last year, I was a redshirt and down on scout team, so I didn't really learn any plays. Now, this is still kind of my freshman year."
- The running back group is happy to see Tyler return if only because more backs means more rest. "We're having fun and we're all getting more rest," Morgan said. "He's just more focused. He's taking advantage and he's very helpful to all of us."
- While Cody Kessler may not be the clear cut #2 quarterback, he was thrilled to be named the back-up. "It's an honor and it's an opportunity," Kessler said. "You are kind of one snap away."
- The true freshman was told early in camp that scrimmages would make the difference. Kessler's passing efficiency statistics have been eye-popping. "If you think you want to earn a spot...show it on film, don't talk about it," Kessler said Kiffin told him. "You have to show the confidence and levelheadedness on the field to not try and force things."
- Practice time for Friday is still up in the air.
- Here's Lane Kiffin...
Position - LB
Class - Freshman
Size - 6'2", 235 lbs.
Age - 17
High School - Boyle County (Junction City, KY)
Comparison - By donning the #55, the inevitable comparisons to past Trojan greats come with the jersey's legacy.
Prep Career - The U.S. Army All-American was "Mr. Football" in the state of Kentucky after 158 tackles and 8 sacks in his senior year. He also played running back and tight end, while scoring 16 TDs on offense.
Fall Camp - Dawson's learning curve was accelerated when starting middle linebacker Chris Galippo went down with a shoulder injury. To paraphrase Joe Barry, he has made some mistakes, but he has also made a lot of plays.
In his own words - Dawson (photo by John McGillen) on being just the second Kentucky native (Kurt Barber) to play at USC: "I'm just out here because I want to be great."
Here is Dawson's introduction to the Los Angeles media...
"I have determined that the university's mission is best served by moving forward at this time, without pursuing further redress," says USC President C. L. Max Nikias.
"This decision followed an extensive review of all of our options and after consultation with many sources. We ask that the Trojan Family offer its utmost support to the student-athletes and coaches of the Trojan football team, confident that USC's commitment to the highest level of excellence in academics and athletics will not waver in the coming years."
Position - RB
Class - Freshman
Size - 5'10", 183 lbs.
Age - 18
High School - Kings Academy (Santa Clara)
Comparison - "He is really physical, but he is a little bit slight," Kiffin said Carlisle does not remind him of any recent USC player.
Prep Career - Carlisle (photo by John McGillen) was an UnderArmour All-American after running for 2,110 yards and 28 TDs as a high school senior.
Fall Camp - He opened eyes in the first few practices with his combination of breakaway speed and powerful inside running. He will likely play a role in the running back rotation.
In his own words - Carlisle on his lack of size: "I might not be 200+ (pounds), but I am going to go out there and give it my all each and every play. I really pride myself on toughness."
Here is Carlisle who looks and sounds like a future football and academic star...
"I'm very grateful to the NCAA, the Committee on Infractions and its chairman, Dennis Thomas, for a very fair and thorough process," Kiffin responded to the ruling today. "I'm also very grateful that we were able to accurately and fairly present the facts in our case and that no action was taken against us. I'm pleased that the NCAA based its decision on the facts and not on perception. I'm also very grateful that the Tennessee football program was cleared of any wrongdoing.
"As I have said before, we always have been committed to following NCAA rules and bylaws both at Tennessee and now at USC, and we always will be. Now that this has reached its conclusion, I am looking forward to continuing to prepare our team for the upcoming season."
Pat Haden also commented:
"We obviously were pleased to learn about the NCAA's ruling today regarding Lane Kiffin. I appeared at Lane's NCAA hearing, and I believe the NCAA's decision is fair and based on the facts presented. I'm glad this is behind us now and I know Lane feels the same way. From the time he arrived at USC, Lane Kiffin has been extremely compliant regarding NCAA rules and I feel confident that he will continue to be so."
- RB Marc Tyler was back on the practice field. He worked with the scout team and left early to attend a class. "This is the next step in the process of Marc hopefully coming back," Lane Kiffin said. "This is still all up to Marc and it changes nothing about his playing status."
- In fact, several players departed the practice during the session, so they would be on time for school. Obviously, some kinks still need to be worked out as the program adjusts to the new early practice schedule.
- On the injury front, freshman FB/DE Charles Burks needs knee surgery and will miss the season.
- Also, OG Abe Markowitz, who was on track to start the opener, came out with a foot issue. In his place, freshman Marcus Martin worked with the ones. "Marcus has a great future here," Kiffin said. "He is a very talented athlete who really loves football."
- Just to show us he is a freshman, Marqise Lee struggled during receiving drills today. The newcomer has been nearly infallible this month, but he had several drops this morning.
- Robert Woods wore a yellow no-contact jersey to protect his sore elbow. He was also walking with a limp in between plays. During plays however, he was running full speed.
- The Trojans are starting to eye the opener. The offense and defense went through scout team sessions for the fist time. The offense installed "all the 1st and 2nd down stuff," Kiffin said.
- The defense finally got to work against a spread offense with freshman WR George Farmer at QB mimicking talented Minnesota athlete Marqueis Gray. Farmer "gives us somebody that is big and fast and strong like Marqueis."
- True freshman QB Cody Kessler has apparently won the back-up job, but the head coach pointed out that Max Wittek is still neck-and-neck with Kessler as far as Matt Barkley's heir apparent. Basically, the staff had to pick somebody and they went with Kessler who has been impressive in the scrimmages. "We have great confidence that both of them could go in and play right now," Kiffin said.
- In an ideal world, Barkley will take every meaningful snap this year and walk-on John Manoogian will take the mop-up snaps, so Kessler and Wittek can both redshirt.
- The tailback situation remains muddled because D.J. Morgan and Curtis McNeal cannot stay healthy. Amir Carlisle, who you will "meet" later today on the blog, is right in the mix. "Maturity, preparation for the game," Kiffin complimented Carlisle. "[He] is very similar to the two guys last year (Robert Woods and Nickell Robey)...in his approach to the game."
- Tomorrow's practice time is TBD, but likely in the morning.
- Some good meaty stuff today from Kiffin on Tyler, redshirts, "Buck" Allen and more...
The senior announced he will likely miss the season and apply for a medical redshirt to gain another year of eligibility with the NCAA.
"I still need to continue to lead and make sure my guys are doing well," Fontan said. "Mentally, I'll treat the rehab like a season itself and get ready for next year."
Here is Fontan describing the incident that caused the injury and the prognosis going forward...
Position - Wide Receiver
Class - Freshman
Size - 6'0", 190 lbs.
Age - 19
High School - Serra (Gardena)
Comparison - Damian Williams
Prep Career - Lee was named the California High School Athlete of the Year for his body of work in football, basketball and track and field.
Fall Camp - Lee arrived in the shadow of high school teammate George Farmer, but he has emerged as a potential starting wide receiver.
In his own words - Lee on switching jersey numbers from #17 to his preferred #9: "In order to get the number you want, I feel that you have to work for it."
Here's the uber-athletic Mr. Lee (photo by John McGillen)...
The Serbian import is expected to provide added depth in the absence of Jio Fontan and long range touch like his brother Nikola, who played at UCLA.
"My family has been playing basketball for a long time, and we have always been shooters," said Dragovic who moved to Santa Barbara two years ago and attended Harvard-Westlake for his senior year, but was not eligible to play basketball under the CIF transfer rules.
Dragovic is only 17 and chose USC after seeing the rapid development of Nikola Vucevic, who he knows from playing back in Eastern Europe.
Position - Offensive Guard
Class - Freshman
Size - 6'5", 357 lbs. and dropping
Age - 18
High School - Glenville (Cleveland, OH)
Comparison - NFL physical giants like Orlando Pace and Flozell Adams
Prep Career - He was a U.S. Army All-American playing both offensive and defensive line as a senior and recorded 17 pancake blocks.
Fall Camp - Walker started at right tackle, but moved to right guard. Physically, he has the size and athleticism to start from day one if he can overcome mental mistakes and improve his technique.
In his own words - Walker on the transition to college: "It's a whole different level. My first day of practice I was tired! I was never that tired [in high school]."
Here's the gregarious Walker (photo by John McGillen) being introduced to the media...
- Freshman TE Junior Pomee's season started late and ended early. He broke his foot during Sunday's scrimmage and will rehab the year. "I thought he was doing great for the little time that we had him," Lane Kiffin said about Pomee (pictured).
- Ross Cumming will switch from linebacker to tight end, reported Whitney Blaine of SCPlaybook.com.
- During practice, RB Curtis McNeal, LB Dion Bailey and WR Kyle Prater all came out with injuries not deemed serious by the head coach.
- WR Markeith Ambles is no longer with the program. He withdrew from the university after being declared academically ineligible. "We wish him the best," Kiffin said.
- True freshmen WR Marqise Lee, OG Aundrey Walker and LB Lamar Dawson were allowed to speak to the media for the first time today. We'll have all three interviews on the blog later today. You won't want to miss Walker who has a giant personality to match his massive frame.
- Despite switching to #9, Lee was impossible to miss today. He made play after play, including diving and leaping touchdown grabs. His willingness to sacrifice his body is reminiscent of Robert Woods as a freshman and builds trust with QB Matt Barkley.
- As for the switch to #9 from #17, "In order to get the number you want, I feel you have to work for it," Lee said.
- While he is under 6'0", Lee is the primary jump ball target in the red zone right now. Between his physicality and freakish vertical leap, he high points the football better than anyone on the roster.
- Staying with the kids, Lamar Dawson continued to get significant reps with the first team at middle linebacker despite Chris Galippo returning to full action. The senior MLB worked with the twos most of practice.
- And yet again in the class of 2011, RB Amir Carlisle broke several long runs. As the bodies get bruised above him on the depth chart, the Bay Area back is starting to become a real option for playing time.
- In punt return drills, Brandon Carswell alternated with Nickell Robey. As Kiffin mentioned after Robey's fumble in the scrimmage, punt returns are becoming more about securing the football than making plays in the present day college game. So, you may see a receiver like Carswell or Robert Woods alternate with Robey depending on the game situation.
- As we mentioned at the top, the team is in a transitional phase between camp and game week. In particular, Kiffin said the defense "wastes a lot of time" working against the Trojans pro-style offense when seemingly everybody else plays a version of the spread, including Minnesota. So, they will start working against the scout team, which will simulate the Gophers' offense at some point this week.
- Here is an abbreviated interview with Lane Kiffin as we had to grab Lee before he left for class...
- USC AD Pat Haden is exploring every possible option in regards to the NCAA.
- Terrell Thomas tore his ACL and will miss the entire season for the Giants.
- Mike Patterson has been cleared to play football and should be ready by the Eagles opener.
- Also in the NFL, Mark Sanchez is growing into the leader of the Jets.
- USC men's tennis head coach Peter Smith has built a dynasty at Troy. Tennis.com wanted to find out how he did it.
- The Dodgers are celebrating USC with a Cardinal and Gold cap day.
- Our Farren Benjamin was the subject of Bill Dwyre's column in the LA Times.
- Our man Dave Dulberg profiled T.J. McDonald for the Daily Trojan.
- USC has six players ranked in the top 40 of the Pac-12, according to Athlon Sports.
- Matt Kalil is the pillar of the Trojans' offensive line, Gary Klein writes.
- Baxter Holmes assesses the loss of Jio Fontan to the men's basketball program.
- With camp coming to an end, Michael Lev reports that the USC defense is gearing up for spread offenses.
- The Daily News profiles David Ausberry as he tries to make the Raiders as a tight end.
Click here to get the three poster pack for $20!
Remember, you can also receive all three posters as part of the "Non-Conference Pack" by purchasing tickets to the Minnesota and Syracuse games.
Click here to buy the non-conference pack for $100!
Finally, by popular demand, we are making a special schedule poster wallpaper, which we'll release on the blog when it's done.
Click here for the whole story!
"Everybody talks about the 'spirit of Troy,'" said four-time Olympic gold medalist John Naber (pictured with C.L. Max Nikias and Pat Haden). "One of the few ways we can actually measure the 'spirit of Troy' is by the athletic performance and the pride the university takes in its student-athletes. There's no question this school produces champions athletically and academically."
Naber was the swimming star of the 1976 games in Montreal, but he prepared for the summer of his life like every other Trojan.
"I was a resident adviser in 1975, so I cluttered my life with worrying about incoming freshman," Naber reminisced. "But I was very much aware that it would be the last year of my life that I was not an Olympian and I was expected to carry the mantle for USC in Montreal."
The "mantle" features 122 gold medals with at least one in every summer Olympics since 1912.
Several champions were honored at "Salute to Troy," including Naber, war hero Louis Zamperini and track star Quincy Watts (all in the video below), and many more will be announced at football games and profiled on the blog.
As it turned out, he had more than enough game to be a star Trojan and now the highest paid center in the history of the NFL.
Click here for the full story.
The Pro Bowler was locked up long term by the Carolina Panthers last week to a $49 million contract with $28 million guaranteed.
Here is a look at the event through the lens of Pierson Clair...
Click here for the full story!
The USC women's basketball senior contributed five points, two assists and a board in the gold medal win over Taiwan.
Click here for the 6-points recap or scroll down!
(Compliance quote on opening, but not promoting scrimmage: "We outlined and discussed our monitoring and security procedures with the NCAA's Committee on Infractions; and, the Committee decided that the practice scrimmage, combined with our Game Day control measures, were consistent with the spirit and intent of Penalty C-20.")
Download the PDF for the complete stats:
- Special teams went totally live for the first time in camp today and the roles are mostly sorted out. Andre Heidari, who drilled two field goals and executed a perfect surprise on-side kick, will handle field goals and kickoffs. Walk-on Kyle Negrete has been punting for the first team for awhile now. Marqise Lee and Curtis McNeal handled kickoff returns today, while Nickell Robey came in as the primary punt returner, but muffed one during the scrimmage, which could open the competition door.
- Robert Woods was the story of the game or maybe it was Matt Barkley. The two connect "telepathically" said the QB, so they are hard to separate. Barkley completed 15/25 for 261 yards and 5 TDs to 1 INT. Woods hauled in 6 balls for 122 yards and 3 scores. "He's just a star player," Barkley complimented. With Woods out injured most of camp, "You could feel the need for speed," Kiffin said about his top gun. "I thought we looked faster out there today."
- WR Marqise Lee is the breakout freshman of fall camp. OL Aundrey Walker and LB Lamar Dawson have also earned plaudits, but Lee could ascend to the starting job from day one. The latest Serra phenom made 7 receptions for 165 yards and a TD. "He's definitely making plays," Woods said about his high school and now college teammate. "He took a big hit today (from T.J. McDonald) and got back up, so that was positive from him."
- The starting lineup today indicated some shuffling around on the depth chart. At safety, Jawanza Starling got the nod over Demetrius Wright, but they were flip-flopped in the second half. Marquis Simmons started at outside linebacker. Tony Burnett was the corner opposite Nickell Robey. Abe Markowitz and John Martinez blocked with the first team at offensive guard. "Basically who started today would have probably been who started if we played a game," Kiffin admitted.
- The running back position is still pretty muddled. Curtis McNeal is the starter, but his lack of durability concerns Kiffin. "Almost every time we get in a tackling format, he gets banged up," the head coach said. Going into the game, Dillon Baxter was the third tailback behind McNeal and the true freshman Amir Carlisle. D.J. Morgan is floating on the depth chart due to health issues, but he got the most carries in the scrimmage.
- Devon Kennard has been a defensive standout in camp, so he'll likely be used in two different roles come Minnesota. He is a second team defensive end, but he slides into the first team during obvious pass rush situations. In third and long for example, he and Nick Perry rush the edges and Wes Horton moves inside to put three sack artists on the field at the same time.
- Walk-on LB Will Andrew and WR Robbie Boyer received scholarships at a team meeting last night. "Those guys are very deserving," Kiffin said.
- Late arriving freshman TE Junior Pomee turned in a nice competitive debut today with two catches for 28 yards. "He looked really good in there," said Kiffin.
- Small hit: Lane Kiffin says he expects almost everyone to play in tomorrow's preseason game, with the notable exception of RB D.J. Morgan (knee), S Marshall Jones (knee) and WR George Farmer (concussion).
- Farmer sustained the concussion during yesterday's practice, and for precautionary reasons will have more tests run on him over the next few days.
- WR Kyle Prater returned after not participating in Friday's contact drills. The redshirt freshman struggled at times however, dropping three catchable passes from QBs Matt Barkley and Max Wittek.
- Yellow jersey no more: LB Chris Galippo practiced for the first time in three days without the no-contact jersey. While Saturday's two-hour affair involved no tackling, the redshirt senior was noticeably active despite the persisting AC joint sprain in his right shoulder. Galippo scored the only defensive touchdown on Saturday, recovering a bad snap by C Khaled Holmes in the end zone. The touchdown sent the entire offense on a lap around the field.
- Galippo on his shoulder: "I plan on scrimmaging tomorrow, so I wanted to get in there and make sure I could do some things full speed. It's something I have been rehabbing for the last two weeks and it's pretty strong. It would be nice if you could play healthy, but this is a game where you have to work through injuries."
- In his absence, the inexperienced threesome of Lamar Dawson, Dion Bailey and Hayes Pullard have been impressive to say the least. On Saturday, Pullard recorded the team's lone interception on a tipped Wittek pass.
- Galippo on the young LBs: "They are good. I think all of our young guys absorb things, listen to the coaches and listen to the older guys. Each one of those guys are athletic, they all have a bright future."
- Special teams drills closed out Saturday's practice and CB Nickell Robey served as the primary return man once again. WR Robert Woods had been splitting time with Robey throughout camp until a right ankle injury sidelined him for the past week.
- RB Amir Carlisle (pictured above by John McGillen) continues to dazzle both with his shiftiness and ability to get out in the open field. Along with Dawson, Kiffin said the freshman halfback has proven he has what it takes to play right away. "Guys go after him and he gets up and keeps going. He's done a surprisingly good job for a small guy in short yardage situations. He's been remarkable, kind of a Robert Woods type story in terms of preparation."
- Outside of one bad snap on Saturday, Khaled Holmes continues to look more and more comfortable at the center position. In response to a question on Holmes' transition Kiffin said, "the move makes us extremely functional compared to where we would be, because he's so smart and helps out the young guards with all of the calls."
- Kiffin on USC being slotted at No.25 in the AP Poll: "I didn't even know that, because as you know that's not something I concern myself with. We don't even know who our left and right guards are going to be, so the last thing we are worried about is where we are going to be in the poll 14 weeks from now."
- Tomorrow's preseason game will be held at the Coliseum at 11:30 a.m., and according to Kiffin will be the last full-padded, inter-squad scrimmage before the team opens its season two weeks from today against Minnesota. Here's the coach...
- One day after his coach reiterated the need to have him back on the field, Woods (ankle) returned after a week-long absence. More noteworthy than his mere presence on the field, was how he responded to the full-padded practice.
- Outside of an early drop during special teams drills, Woods (pictured right by John McGillen) looked comfortable from start to finish, especially over the middle. His day was capped off by a beautiful connection with QB Matt Barkley, in which the sophomore wideout was able to shield himself away from CB Nickell Robey for a 15-yard completion on a well-timed out route.
- Woods on his first day back: "I felt a little out of shape in the two-minute drill, but I feel pretty good going full speed. Some routes I am still favoring the ankle, other than that I am out here full speed. When I am out on the field there is no thought of it [the ankle], then again you feel it at times, but you have to let it go. It's football."
- For the second straight practice, Chris Galippo (shoulder) took to the field with the yellow no-contact jersey and participated sparingly.
- While the WR corps welcomed back Woods, redshirt freshman Kyle Prater did not participate in contact drills. D.J. Morgan (knee) sat out once again, as did WR De'Von Flournoy.
- Play of the day: On a 4th and goal situation at the two-yard line, the Trojans' first-team offense ran an end-around to WR Marqise Lee. However, S T.J. McDonald read the play perfectly, and landed a vicious hit on the freshman to secure the goal line stand.
- Lack of discipline: Although the defense did a remarkable job maintaining the running game for the better part of Friday's practice, yellow flags flew often during 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. S Jawanza Starling was unfortunately the main culprit, getting flagged for two separate pass interference penalties in the end zone.
- Kiffin on the defensive penalties: "These are long, hard practices and long, hard drives, and you have to stay focused. Maybe those are penalties we aren't making when we alternate every four or five plays, but when they are put in those settings where it's eight, nine, 10 plays in a row, that's what the game is like. We are going to have to master those situations."
- Matt Barkley was a master of the deep ball on Friday. During individual drills, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11, the junior QB hooked up down the field with several targets, WRs Brandon Carswell, Lee and Woods, as well as TE Randall Telfer and FB Rhett Ellison.
- Turning back the clock: LB coach Joe Barry (who played for USC from 1992-1993) showed off some of his old skills, picking off a pass by QB Max Wittek during 7-on-7. Comedy then ensued, when the 41-year-old tried to make his way down the sideline as players attempted to strip the ball.
- Abe Markowitz saw time at LG with the No.1 offense on Friday. Although Markowitz typically takes reps at C, Kiffin lauded the redshirt junior's ability to transition back-and-forth during fall camp. "He's doing well playing both spots, that's a hard thing to do. He's doing very well, and hopefully will this weekend. He has impressed us."
- Tomorrow's practice has been moved from the original 3 p.m. start time to an early morning setting at 8:50 a.m. Here's the coach...
The events calendar continues Sunday with "Salute to Troy," the annual football kickoff BBQ.
And then next week, #2 women's volleyball takes the first steps on the road to the Final Four by taking on #12 Minnesota and #1 Penn State at the AVCA Showcase, which will air on the Big Ten Network. The women's volley home opener is September 9 against UCLA.
#1 men's water polo gets going the same day as football, Saturday, September 3. And, cross country starts running a week later on September 10 in Irvine.
On September 1, you are all invited to the Fall Sports Rally at Galen Center. Nothing gets you fired up like a pep rally with tons of giveaways and prizes.
Women's soccer is next in action Sunday at 1 p.m. Here's a look at the first goal of the season, netted by Haley Boysen, and the two great chances at the bitter end that went begging.
No men's water polo program has ever won four straight national championships.
Click here for the full story.
Unbelievably, the Trojans return every player from the 2010 roster led by five All-Americans, seniors Matt Burton, Joel Dennerley and Peter Kurzeka, and sophomores Jeremy Davie and Nikola Vavic. And of course, they will be guided by eight-time national champion and 2010 National Coach of the Year Jovan Vavic.
With 26-year NFL coaching vet Monte Kiffin leading the way, the Trojans staff has put in 48 years of service at the highest level of the sport. Pac-12 newcomer Colorado is second with 38 years combined on the sidelines.
Joe Barry's 10 years as a coach in the league puts him in the top 10 nationwide, according to a University of Florida study. Kennedy Pola (6), Lane Kiffin (3), James Cregg (2) and Ed Orgeron (1) have also spent time in the NFL coaching ranks.
In all, the Trojan staff has 226 years of coaching experience at all levels.
(Photo by John McGillen)
"We exhausted all of our resources in order to help Falyn retain her eligibility, " said head coach Mick Haley. "We have very high expectations of our student-athletes, on and off the court, here at USC."
The Women of Troy, ranked No. 2 in the nation, are still loaded with returning All-Americans Alex Jupiter, Lauren Williams and Kendall Bateman. The season begins with a stiff test against #12 Minnesota and #1 Penn State at the AVCA Showcase in Pennsylvania.
Here are some reactions from Trojans and non-Trojans alike:
USC AD Pat Haden: "What we at USC are looking for is a consistency in rules that are applied. Consistency. That's all we ask."
Click here for more Haden on ESPN Radio.
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott on former Miami AD Paul Dee presiding over USC's NCAA case: "If the allegations prove true, the words irony and hypocrisy don't seem to go far enough."
USC LB Chris Galippo on Dee: "A little bit of hypocrisy for sure. I think that's pretty obvious. What goes around comes around a little bit."
Former USC LB Keith Rivers on Dee: "It's unfortunate that he was so harsh on SC when his school was doing way more than what you found USC to be guilty of."
SI.com's Stewart Mandel: "If USC got a two-year bowl ban and 30 docked scholarships, what should Miami get for an encyclopedia of allegations so tawdry as to make USC look like a bubble-gum shoplifter?" LA Times columnist T.J. Simers on comparing the USC and Miami cases: "It has nothing to do with the University of Miami's problems other than the fact that the joker who worked as the Hurricanes' former athletic director provides an immediate guffaw."
A simple Google news search of Miami and USC will lead to endless more opinions. What do you think? (And keep it clean!)
- On a positive injury note, LB Chris Galippo was back, but he wore a yellow no-contact jersey. WR Robert Woods practiced minimally early in the session.
- The injury list is long and similar to the last few days. DT Christian Tupou came out with a banged up knee as did DT DaJohn Harris, which left true freshman DT Antwaun Woods working with the ones alongside George Uko.
- While few of the injuries have been deemed long term, Kiffin said most of the list would have missed a regular season game if the Trojans had one today. "Most of the guys that are out are really out," the head coach said.
- He is concerned that Robert Woods could be rusty if he sits out too long. "He needs to get back," Kiffin said. "He needs to be back out here to get the timing down and get himself ready."
- If you watch the press scrum below, Kiffin explains that the roster is limited to 105 players for camp. So, Jesse Scroggins (thumb), Gio Di Poalo (shoulder) and Markeith Ambles (academics) have been taken out of camp activities like practice and meetings, so they can open up a spot in the 105 for other players. Scroggins and Di Poalo will be back once class begins on Monday.
- The linebacker situation is competitive at all three spots. With Chris Galippo banged up, freshman Lamar Dawson is working with the first team and impressing the coaching staff. "We have not babied him," said linebackers coach Joe Barry. "We've force fed him, and he's made some mistakes, but he's also made some plays."
- The group is long on athleticism, but short on experience, which tests Barry's ability to educate. "You really get to learn how kids learn," said Barry about coaching this young group. "Where they are now from where they were at the start of camp, they are all getting better."
- At different times in camp, redshirt freshmen Dion Bailey and Hayes Pullard have flanked Dawson. If that trio plays in a game, the concern is obviously inexperience. "You have to see and experience plays before you understand them, especially at the linebacker spot," said the former USC linebacker.
- The future of the position is bright. The class of 2011 trio of Dawson, Tre Madden and Anthony Sarao have endured the rigors of camp to this point and keep getting better. "I am never going to sit here and make bold statements before they've even made their first tackle as a Trojan," Barry said. "They love to learn, so they've got a chance."
- The cool picture was taken by John McGillen last night. Here's the head coach...
"I couldn't feel worse for any player I've coached in my career," Kevin O'Neill said from Brazil. "Jio is the heart and soul of our team and had become a high-level player. His loss is a huge blow to our team."
Fontan returned to Los Angeles Wednesday and had an MRI Thursday, which revealed the torn ligament.
In his absence, the team will be forced to rely heavily on sophomore guard Maurice Jones and a trio of newcomers, Greg Allen, Alexis Moore and Byron Wesley, to handle the back court responsibilities.
"We are determined to move forward and do what we've done the past 2 years, which is fight like Trojans and have a great season," O'Neill said. "We as a team are undaunted by this loss and we will play great basketball for our fans."
They kick things off Friday at 3 p.m. against Long Beach State on McAlister Field.
Seniors Ashley Freyer and Brittany Kerridge will play veteran roles on this year's squad. We got them in on the "Summer 60" fun before it gets serious tomorrow.
Instead of limiting or eliminating social tools for student-athletes, the athletic department has chosen to educate players on how to avoid the pitfalls of the new digital world.
Fellenzer used a classic Rod Dedeaux quote to underline his point, "Never make the same mistake once." Meaning, learn from others who have made mistakes before you.
A person or corporation can purchase a kid's ticket to the game by making a tax-deductible $30 donation. If you're interested in supporting the cause, call (213) 482-6333.
Click the link for the complete release.
2011 TFY release1.pdf
"Touchdown For Youth can provide a special experience to young people who may never
have been on a campus or inside the Coliseum, perhaps inspiring them to one day pursue
a college education," said USC Athletic Director Pat Haden. "Hopefully, we'll have a great
turnout and the kids will help cheer on the Trojans to a win."
Former USC QB Paul McDonald and Trojan great J.K. McKay will be the featured speakers along with a special appearance by the Spirit of Troy.
All the info is on the card below...
- Injury news: WR George Farmer and CB Brian Baucham came out during practice.
- LT Matt Kalil and WR Robert Woods are still day-to-day, although the receiver did some light work this morning.
- Lane Kiffin was pleased with the energy of the night practice. WR Marqise Lee stood out again as the "star" of practice "by far," according to the head coach.
- Play of the day: CB Nickell Robey made a great instinctive read to step in front of a Matt Barkley pass and take it the distance for a score.
- The wide receivers and cornerbacks worked one-on-one in the end zone for a session. Senior Brandon Carswell (photo by John McGillen) turned his defender inside-out several times with double moves. If Carswell and Woods end up as the starting wideouts, route running will be the reason. Neither player is physically overwhelming, but they are both technically superior.
- In 9-on-7, the running game broke several big plays with Curtis McNeal and Amir Carlisle finding holes. However, the coaching staff does not seem any closer to a decision on the starting guards. "Every day is a never ending battle," offensive line coach James Cregg said. "It's just up and down."
- True freshman Aundrey Walker has to be considered the favorite to start at right guard, but he's still climbing the learning curve. "We've just got to get him overcoming some of those mental mistakes that he's making as a young player," Cregg said about Walker. "It's just understanding the big picture of things."
- At the left guard spot, John Martinez came into camp atop the depth chart. "I have not shown the coaches anything quite yet because I have not done anything in the scrimmages," Martinez admitted.
- Martinez is a weight room warrior. He bench pressed 225 pounds 33 times. However, he is 16 reps short of Oregon State's Stephen Paea who set the NFL Combine record this past spring. "Something to definitely look up to," Martinez laughed.
- Former walk-on Abe Markowitz has been working with the first team lately at guard. He's impressed LT Matt Kalil. "He's playing with a chip on his shoulder," Kalil said about Markowitz. "He's been hurt since he's gotten his scholarship and I think he's really got something to prove. He's playing with a fire and passion right now."
- Today was the final two-a-day. Thursday's practice is at 3 p.m.
- Here's Kiffin for a second time Wednesday...
The deadline came and went Monday night and head coach Frank Cruz is generally happy with how things shook out. The program received an unexpected boost when ace pitcher Andrew Triggs (pictured) spurned the big leagues to get his masters and play another year at Troy.
"The biggest surprise of the summer was that Andrew Triggs came back to school," Cruz said. "There's no freshman in America that could come in and do what he is going to do for us."
Speaking of freshmen, the Trojans lost two members of the 2011 recruiting class, but they expected 50th pick overall Travis Harrison to go pro. As for shortstop Christian Lopes, USC had some bad luck.
Lopes was drafted by the Blue Jays who were the only team unable to secure its first round pick. When Toronto failed to sign Vanderbilt recruit RHP Tyler Beede, extra money was freed up to tempt Lopes.
"We kind of felt like we were going to get him," said Cruz about Lopes. "Vanderbilt's fortune was our misfortune, but that's the way the draft goes."
"In the big picture, we really did well," the head coach said. "We have some good young players coming in and some mature players coming back in Alex Sherrod, Kevin Roundtree and Triggs. We're really excited about our team."
Click play and the hilarity ensues...
- Two notable appearances this morning: WRs Brice Butler (knee) and Robert Woods (ankle) were back between the white lines. Butler participated full speed during receiving drills, while Woods spent most of his time working on strength and conditioning drills on the practice field's Muscle Beach. Kiffin said based on the way Woods prepares, he isn't too worried about lost practice time for the sophomore.
- LB Chris Galippo said he re-injured his right shoulder last night, and that he's been told it's a sprain of the AC joint. While Kiffin said he is concerned about the possibility of the Trojans starting freshman Lamar Dawson and redshirt freshmen Dion Bailey and Hayes Pullard at the three LB positions, he anticipates Galippo will be back on the field by USC's next preseason game.
- Although the MRI on his surgically repaired right knee came back negative yesterday, RB D.J. Morgan was held of out practice once again due to soreness. WR Marqise Lee was also absent due to a family emergency. LT Matt Kalil was also a no-show due to a knee injury.
- The star of practice was arguably defensive line coach Ed Orgeron. Although an 8:45 a.m. start time made for a rather quiet morning, Orgeron let loose on defensive linemen Kevin Greene and George Uko early and often for their sluggish play.
- Let's hope PK Andre Heidari prefers night practices. On Wednesday morning his accuracy left much to be desired as he missed four attempts from 35, 46 (twice) and 49 yards.
- After two early drops, freshman WR George Farmer found his groove as practice wore on with fellow freshman, QB Cody Kessler.
- Kiffin on whether this year's offense will be an explosive unit: "We don't really know yet. We are still trying to find someone to fill the X position, but if they don't, we will start [Brandon] Carswell and Robert [Woods] and go from there. Those two guys are really similar, so we'd like to have someone else step up to have a different element in our gameplan."
- Someone who has stepped up in a big way at the FB position is redshirt senior Rhett Ellison (pictured above). "Rhett Ellison has had an unbelievable camp from special teams to fullback to tight end, to receiver, everything," said Kiffin. "I couldn't be more pleased with him and he's probably been the best story of camp so far with what he's done and where he is from a year ago, his value to the team and his leadership. He's just awesome."
- Ellison on adjusting from TE to FB: "I am still trying to figure stuff out. Every practice it's about repetition after repetition, just getting use to it. I'm not comfortable at fullback yet, especially with the run blocking schemes. But I will play wherever they want me. That's their call."
The senior is flying back to Los Angeles and will have an MRI tomorrow to determine the full extent of the damage.
Head coach Kevin O'Neill is fearing the worst. Asked how bad the knee injury was on a scale from 1-10, O'Neill replied, "10," Baxter Holmes of the LA Times reported.
Fontan tweeted late last night, "Minor setback for a major comeback!" The Fordham transfer was playing the best basketball of his USC career on this trip averaging 28.5 points per game in the first two contests.
Every Friday is food truck Fridays for women's soccer home games this season.
At a recent scrimmage, we strapped a camera on two players to get you inside the action. Check it out! It's a point-of-view that you have probably never seen before.
- Eligibility first: TE Junior Pomee went through his first practice after being cleared by the NCAA, which made him take an additional summer class. WR Markeith Ambles was declared academically ineligible. His future at USC is uncertain.
- Good injury news: RB Curtis McNeal is already back in pads after a scary looking knee injury during the Sunday scrimmage, which turned out to be a bruise. "I thought it was way worse because I had no strength in it and I could not get off the ground," said McNeal.
- More good injury news: Safety Demetrius Wright practiced fully today after sitting out last week with a hip pointer, which also appeared more serious when it happened. "I could not feel my legs, so I thought it was way worse," said a relieved Wright who rates himself at 70% right now.
- LB Chris Galippo and DB Jawanza Starling were limited. RB D.J. Morgan had an MRI on his surgically repaired knee that came back fine, but he was not cleared. Wide receivers Brice Butler (knee), Brandon Carswell (quad) and Robert Woods (ankle) are all out.
- Woods' injured his ankle playing basketball in the spring, but he was 100% going into camp. He explained that the ankle has gotten stiff on him through the rigorous practices.
- Scary play of the day: Safety Marshall Jones and CB Torin Harris went airborne going after the same pass and crashed into each other. Jones hurt his knee, but Lane Kiffin expects him to be fine.
- The coaches want to see Harris be physical, so they were happy he attacked the ball without caution. "I don't know what happened. I just went up for the ball and I'm guessing he did the same," said Harris. "I don't have a problem with tackling."
- Pomee did not practice in pads, but he is hard to miss with a long mane coming out the back of his helmet. The tight end caught the first pass thrown his way, but learned a quick ball security lesson after Anthony Brown stripped him.
- Kiffin was visibly upset several times during practice, especially at the offensive line protection. He gave Wright an earful during tackling drills. "Yeah, I like him like that. There was one drill where I did not wrap up and I wanted to kill myself," Wright said. "I like it when [Kiffin's] tough on me."
- There were a few more eyes on practice than usual as the Salute to Troy patrons party was being held on the Dedeaux Field patio overlooking Howard Jones. Typically, no one is allowed up there, but this event was cleared through NCAA compliance.
- Wednesday rings in the final two-a-day of 2011 fall camp. The Trojans will practice at 8:45 a.m. and 6 p.m. Here is the coach's presser...
Check it out!
Houston's Matt Leinart had a good night with 78 yards passing and a TD, while New York WR Patrick Turner caught six balls, including a score.
Click here for the box score.
Here's a photo passed along to us by the Houston Texans of Brian Cushing chatting it up with fellow Trojans Mark Sanchez and Turner.
All that scoring is taking its toll on the senior's body, but the Trojans don't have Galen Center amenities in Sao Paulo, so they are forced to make do.
For example, they are using an inflatable kids pool as the cold tub. Dewayne Dedmon tweeted out this funny pic of Fontan getting his therapy.
- A belated note that Trojan and Raider great Skip Thomas passed away from a heart attack. Known as "Dr. Death" during his Super Bowl winning Raider days, Thomas (pictured below) had 17 career NFL interceptions. Click here for a video tribute.
- With USC men's basketball getting an early start thanks to the Brazil trip, the media has taken notice. Sporting News picked up on Dewayne Dedmon's hype.
- Jeff Goodman profiles Kevin O'Neill's background and how it has shaped him as a coach.
- Finally, Jason King provides a preseason preview of the Trojans hoops team.
- A funny note on USC's first football opponent Minnesota: Head coach Jerry Kill is disciplining players by having them clean up horse manure.
- Gary Klein profiles USC running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu as he returned to his roots this offseason.
- Scott Wolf is impressed by the development of freshman QB Max Wittek.
- The OC Register looks at USC's uncertainty at the offensive guard position two weeks into camp.
- RB Curtis McNeal escaped serious injury, according to Pedro Moura.
- Whitney Blaine assesses the rise of USC's young linebacking corps.
- WeAreSC columnist Steve Bisheff is not a fan of tailback-by-committee.
- Stephanie Graves looks at Rhett Ellison's move to fullback.
- Pat Haden enters his second year on the job and he's "always on edge," writes Jill Painter.
- Trojan great Tom Seaver is the subject of a book, The Last Icon by Stephen Travers.
- Lucas Duda continues to deliver for the Mets and the New York Times has taken notice. Plus, here is his blast from last night.
On photo day, the Trojans go through a variety of stations from head shots to signing footballs to recording scoreboard introductions.
Here is a look at what goes into those video starting lineups with defensive end Nick Perry taking his turn...
Here is USC football preseason game #2...UNFILTERED.
Defending national champion Penn State is ranked No. 1 yet again. The Trojans and Nittany Lions will square off in the second game of the season in Happy Valley at the AVCA Showcase on August 27.
USC opens the season against No. 12 Minnesota on August 26. The Trojans will play six of the top 12 teams including Pac-12 foes #3 Cal, #6 Stanford, #7 Washington and #12 UCLA.
The crosstown rivalry will serve as USC's home opener September 9 at Galen Center. All fans in attendance that night will receive "Spike the Record" tee-shirts as we attempt to break the 5,000 fans plateau for the first time.
Wesley and Moore were on flag holding duty as we give you a look at the environment the Trojans were playing in yesterday.
Known as the "innovator of the Triangle offense," which he learned during his time at Troy, Winter played the role of Phil Jackson's trusted assistant for nine NBA championship teams and served as a consultant for two more.
Recently, he suffered a stroke, so his son Chris helped him deliver his Hall of Fame message.
Click here for the complete story from the Daily Trojan.
Nellum has since battled his way back onto the track as a contributing runner, but at the time of the incident, he was regarded as one of the top young sprinters in the world.
As it turned out, offensive line issues and dropped passed became the story of the day. Here's Barkley after the game...
Here's what it looked like...
- Lane Kiffin challenged Matt Barkley to improve his completion percentage, but the starting QB and his understudies were victimized by a succession of first half drops. The junior finished 17 of 27 for 135 yards with a TD pass and no INTs. Max Wittek (12/23 for 157 with 2 TDs/1 INT) and Cody Kessler (14/21 for 86 yards with 1 TD/1 INT) continued to impress as they vie for the backup role.
- Curtis McNeal started the game at running back, but he injured his right knee just three carries into the afternoon. While the coaches wait for more information on McNeal's condition, Dillon Baxter moves to the top of the depth chart. The sophomore continued his total makeover with a solid 16 carries for 101 yards and a dazzling 21-yard TD catch-and-run. "By far his best week since he's been here," said Kiffin. "It's good to see someone doing things right in practice, off-the-field, and have it pay off here."
- The starting defense led by a dominant pass rush gave up just six points to the starting offense before taking the second half off. While Kiffin did not hint at answers for the second safety or second corner spots, DB Drew McAllister and CB Torin Harris had interceptions. "I thought Torin Harris showed up today," Kiffin said. "He made a number of plays, including tackling, which is something we're emphasizing with him."
- In the first half at least, freshman PK Andre Heidari was the offensive MVP. He accounted for all the scoring by making kicks from 21 and 46 yards out. He's been perfect in the two fall camp scrimmages. "I think it's awesome playing in the Coliseum now twice and feeling what it's going to be like on game day," Heidari said.
- Marqise Lee has distanced himself from the other freshman wide receivers. With Robert Woods (ankle), Brice Butler (knee) and Brandon Carswell (both quads) on the sidelines, Lee turned in an impressive 7 catch performance totaling 87 receiving yards, including a 56-yard catch-and-run, which was the longest play of the day. "He's flashed in practice the last two days especially and really showed up today," Kiffin said about Lee.
- For now, Rhett Ellison is starting at fullback, which leaves healthy tight ends Randall Telfer and Xavier Grimble to battle it out for the #2 spot or potentially #1 if Ellison stays put. Telfer (4 catches for 39 yards) got off to a strong start, but he had two drops. Grimble showed up in the red zone with two TD grabs. "That's what I am here to do," said Grimble about his touchdowns. "Catch some short passes, be violent with the DBs and linebackers and soften up the secondary."
- True freshman Charles Burks, who moved from fullback to his natural defensive end just yesterday, made an immediate impression with three sacks today.
Click here for the complete game recap.
Here is Fontan providing a the game story...
- The injury report has thinned a bit: CB Torin Harris returned after a week-long absence due to a concussion. S T.J. McDonald practiced after leaving Thursday's session with an ankle injury. LB Dion Bailey (foot), who was on crutches just two days ago, also returned to practice on Saturday. LB Chris Galippo (shoulder) dressed, but did not participate in any football activities.
- Unfortunately, Saturday's practice claimed a new casualty in TE Rhett Ellison. The senior got his left thumb caught on the cleat of P Kyle Negrete during a special teams drill, and did not return to practice. Kiffin said the open wound on the thumb did require stitches.
- WR Robert Woods (ankle) was held out of practice again on Saturday, and while Kiffin doesn't believe the injury is serious, the sophomore wideout is listed as doubtful for Sunday's scrimmage.
- WR Markeith Ambles was held out of practice again on Saturday. While the coaching staff won't receive his final grades for another 24 hours, Kiffin hinted that Ambles will likely not be eligible this season.
- Kiffin stressed the importance of tomorrow's scrimmage (the second of fall camp), saying that it will go a long way towards providing clarity for position battles at RB, No.2 WR (Brandon Carswell as of now continues to be the front-runner) behind Woods, OLB, S, LG and RG and the No.2 QB spot.
- Asked what he wants to see from Matt Barkley tomorrow, Kiffin said "a higher completion percentage." Through 11 practices, both freshmen gunslingers Cody Kessler and Max Wittek have higher completion percentages than Barkley. Although Kiffin said that could be attributed to No.7 taking more risks down the field.
- Speaking of Kessler, more than 30 minutes after practice, the freshman was still on the field working on routes with Woods, Marqise Lee and Amir Carlisle- a nice sight to see as the back-up QB competition heats up.
- With Ellison out of commission on Saturday, TE Randall Telfer was arguably the star on offense, making several long receptions over the middle.
- Play of the day: Thanks to the pass rush of DT Christian Tupou, Matt Barkley was forced to throw on the run to his 6'5" target, WR Kyle Prater. And despite giving up almost nine inches to Prater, CB Nickell Robey jumped the route perfectly for an easy pick 6.
- Kiffin on Robey: "He's exactly the way we describe a Trojan, and what we look for in terms of academics, how he handles himself off the field, to the weight room, to training, to nutrition to practice habits. I'm not saying he is the same player, but he has the same kind of attitude and work ethic that Troy Polamalu had."
- Another sophomore receiving high praise this fall, has been RB Dillon Baxter (pictured above by John McGillen). While a lot has been made about his improved speed, he says the biggest improvement he has made occurred in the maturity department. "I think it just comes with time and growing up. It takes awhile and right when you are getting here coming from high school, you tend do high school things. I think it's just time for me really."
- Tomorrow's scrimmage with once again be held at the Coliseum, and is set to kick off at 12:30 p.m. It will be closed to the general public due to the NCAA sanctions. Here's the coach on the team's final tune-up heading into their second preseason game.
This is must see SC TV...
- QB Jesse Scroggins does not know a whole lot more about his surgically repaired right thumb ligaments. He is not certain about the rehab time frame nor how the injury occurred. He is embracing the obstacle and doing his best to work past it. "At some point in your college career you are going to go through adversity," Scroggins said Lane Kiffin advised him. "I guess I just went through mine early."
- A few more freshmen were added to the injury report. WR George Farmer (back - photo by John McGillen), RB Amir Carlisle (quad), DT Christian Heyward and DE Greg Townsend (ribs) all missed a portion of practice. Veteran DB Drew McAllister came out with a hamstring issue.
- T.J. McDonald expects to be back tomorrow, but Kiffin is not certain who will be available for preseason game #2 on Sunday.
- As of today, Curtis McNeal is the best all-around running back, according to the head coach. "Curtis has come further than anyone in our program since the day we got here," Kiffin said. "There were a lot of questions if Curtis would ever make it in our program. To see his turnaround and how far he's come, it's why we do it."
- Dillon Baxter is not far behind in the running back race. The sophomore shaved his 40 time from 4.8 to 4.6 in the offseason despite adding weight. He still has tremendous vision and innate ability to make defenders miss, which he showed off several times today.
- The wide receivers were working on routes with double moves in them, which allowed Brice Butler to exhibit his superior technical skills. He drew compliments from Kiffin who oversaw the receiver session.
- CB Isiah Wiley had an interception today. While Tony Burnett came into camp as the starting cornerback opposite Nickell Robey, Kiffin implied the competition was open and that no one had really impressed him. Wiley has more than enough athletic ability if he can catch onto the system.
- Maybe under the radar, but TE/FB Rhett Ellison is having a great camp.
- Play of the day: DE Wes Horton batted a pass into the air that was intercepted by DT DaJohn Harris. The 6'4", 310 pounder tried to rumble 70 yards for a TD, but 5'7", 180 pound, Curtis McNeal chased him down from behind and tried to tackle him. "Juicy" gave McNeal his best stiff arm, but eventually ran out of gas at the five. The defense mobbed Harris after the play.
- Physically, freshman OG Aundrey Walker is ready to play at this level, but he is starting over mentally after the switch from right tackle, so veteran Khaled Holmes is tutoring him on the fly. "That's anyone's responsibility who can contribute in that regard," Holmes said about helping Walker. "He's come out and showed that he's athletic and he's got the feet and he can play."
- Holmes has learned "as much as I can in 10 days" about the center position. "It's been all ball as it should be during camp, but I'm pretty happy with the progress."
- While left guard is a revolving door, the offensive line is starting to look like the bullies on the block. Matt Kalil, Walker, Kevin Graf and Holmes form a massive front line. "I'm tiny man. I feel like a little guy in there," said the 6'4", 310 pound Holmes.
- Practice is at 3 p.m. Saturday. Here's Lane Kiffin...
Click here to read it!
"Ok, please do not take it the wrong way, but how did the Marines get authorized to see a practice. The admittance policy clearly states direct family, high-level staff who are approved and media can see a practice. I do not think they are all related to a player. Hey, they have my utmost respect, but I pay a nice sum of tuition per year and I cannot even see practice from Dedeaux Field. What's up?"
The compliance department takes special requests and provides rulings on a case-by-case basis. In simple terms, they want the USC football program to be able to do good deeds.
Obviously, we all have great respect for the Marines. The men yesterday serve as boots on the ground in the hostile combat zones in Afghanistan. Providing a fun day for them shadowing the team and coming to practice during their leave counted as a special exemption.
If you remember last year, USC fan Jake Olson, who lost both his eyes to cancer, was given an opportunity to attend football practice. We hope for examples like that going forward.
We understand the frustration fans feel about the new NCAA compliance rules while the program is under probation. We'll continue to do our best to give you access to the team through videos, pictures and chats. We appreciate your patience and loyalty.
(Photo by John McGillen)
After a rest and practice day Saturday, USC will play Pind, a Division II professional team on Sunday.
On Monday, the Trojans will scrimmage with Division I pros Sao Jose dos Campos.
Tuesday, USC will play a second official game as they take on Mogi das Cruzes.
On Wednesday, they depart Sao Paulo for Rio de Janeiro and play that day against Flamengo 19-and-under.
Then Thursday, they get a day off from hoops, so they can relax on Ipanema Beach in Rio (pictured below).
After a "Christ the Redeemer" tour on Friday, they play game #4 of the trip against Tijuca.
Finally, USC departs Brazil Saturday and returns home to LAX on Sunday, August 21.
WEEKLY PRE-SEASON FEATURES/SEASON PREVIEW
About: Daily features will be produced from pre-season practice for FOXSportsWest.com and on-air integration (in Dodgers and Angels pre/post-game shows)
All aggregated content will be used to produce a :30 min "Lane Kiffin USC Football Weekly" that will serve as a season preview debuting on PRIME TICKET, Sunday, August 28th at 4:30PM
"LANE KIFFIN USC FOOTBALL WEEKLY"
About: The weekly USC football show will return to PRIME TICKET on Tuesday nights at 10:30pm for 14 straight weeks beginning on Tuesday, September 6th
WEB EXCLUSIVES (FoxSportsWest.com)
About: FOXSportsWest.com will periodically offer short player/coach interviews throughout the season regarding practice, upcoming game previews, injury updates and more.
USC STUDENT-ATHLETE VIGNETTES
About: 2-3 minute vignettes will be prominently featured in select pre/post-game shows this fall and will also air live on FOXSportsWest.com.
- We could do an entire post on the injury list. Robert Woods and T.J. McDonald were two big name additions with ankle issues, but Lane Kiffin did not seem overly concerned.
- You can watch the presser below for the full list. Of note, QB Jesse Scroggins had surgery on the thumb of his throwing hand. A timetable for his return has not been set.
- LB Dion Bailey limped out to practice on crutches with a foot injury.
- DT Christian Tupou missed practice due to his surgically repaired left knee. The coaches and trainers are going to protect him as he continues to work his way back to full strength.
- The lengthy injury list is an obvious result of tackling in practice. At this time last year, Kiffin stopped tackling due to concerns about depth. This year, he plans to push through with as many healthy guys as he can. "We're seeing the price for doing what we're doing," the head coach said. "We'll deal with it."
- Markeith Ambles practiced for the first time during camp. The highly-touted wide receiver wore a jersey without a number and took reps at defensive back. "We wanted to see him move around in the DB drills today," Kiffin said about Ambles who awaits word on his academic eligibility. They had been holding him out, so he could concentrate on school.
- One player's injury is another player's opportunity. Freshman LB Lamar Dawson is getting all of Chris Galippo's reps. Freshman LB Tre Madden moved up on the depth chart with Bailey sidelined.
- And, freshman Marqise Lee (photo by John McGillen from Monday) made a real impression at wide receiver. Lee spent his high school year's in the shadow of Robert Woods and George Farmer, but he is literally jumping out in camp. He made the play of the day, which ended practice, by leaping high into the air on a sideline fade route and plucking the ball away from CB Isiah Wiley.
- Like everyone else, Kiffin is impressed. "He just naturally does things, which is why he's such a gifted athlete," he said about Lee. "I think he's untapped on how good he can be."
- Lee reminds Kiffin of Damian Williams.
- Brice Butler was on crutches last night, but chucked them today and went right back into the mix at full speed. "I don't know if that would've happened a year ago," said Kiffin.
- Butler did not disagree. "A year ago, I would've been like, 'I'm not practicing,'" he admitted. "I can't be nervous about my ankle. I've just got to go out there and play."
- Butler is competing with Kyle Prater to fulfill the big receiver role. He has outplayed the redshirt freshman in camp to this point, but he is still working to make an impression on his head coach. "I don't have that decision to make, but I can put something out on tape," Butler said about playing time.
- Kiffin has always admired Butler's preparation, but he urged the receiver to be more physical this summer. "There were some things on the field that I wasn't doing and me and coach Kiffin talked about it," he recounted. "My whole mindset has been about being tough."
- Practice is at 3 p.m. Friday. Here is Kiffin on a windy day...
Fan Question: Pat, many fans feel when you do interviews and say "we want to win the right way" that statement is an indirect admission that USC didn't "win the right way" before. How do you plan to better articulate a clear message? - Jim Tyner
I am sorry if my comments about "winning the right way" have been misconstrued. My intent is not to denigrate any of the teams of the past or keep fans from enjoying those great years in Pete Carroll's era. When I took this job, being on NCAA probation, I realized that if we have any further NCAA issues, we could face serious consequences for our football program above and beyond the current penalties. I understand now that some people have taken my comments the wrong way. For anyone that feels that I have not shown complete respect for the great teams of years past, I apologize.
Fan Question: Are you in charge of intramural athletics as well? If so, what are we doing about the facilities for the roughly 10,000 non-NCAA athletes on campus? - David
The athletic department is not in charge of intramural athletics. However, I am well aware that we do not have enough courts and fields on or around campus. We want Galen Center to become more of an intramural space, so we are hosting the intramural championship basketball and volleyball games for the first time this year. We appreciate everyone's patience during the construction of the John McKay Center, which will finish this time next year and feature a brand new intramural field that is much larger and nicer than the one that used to be there.
Fan Question: Could Pat go into more detail concerning the Track and Field program? He mentioned that he didn't pay as much attention to this program as he should have. Can he elaborate on this? - Michael Slaughter
Historically, it is a phenomenally successful program and I would like to spend more time with them this season. We have won 27 national championships in men's and women's track and field and have great teams coming back. We invite the fans to come out and support track and field, which has always been a premier sport at USC. We are kicking off an Olympic year in the Pac-12 and our track and field teams are right at the center of it. We are so excited to watch our athletes, past and current, compete in the summer games in London.
Q.) What are your thoughts on the new Pac-12 national and regional networks?
The Pac-12 networks will undoubtedly be a boon for USC student-athletes and the Trojan Family across the country. The fans will now have virtually unlimited ability to watch every sport. If I am a parent of a women's soccer player and I live in New Jersey, I can still watch almost every game. Furthermore, it will provide opportunities for our journalism students and student-athletes to get invaluable experience working in all the different facets of a sports television broadcast.
Q.) What are your expectations for the football team this year?
We want to improve upon last year. We have a deeper team, which should help. I expect us to be much better defensively. Offensively, we did average 34 points per game, but we need to finish games better. Other than maybe our kicking, the special teams last year were as good as I have seen here in 40 years. We have an interesting schedule with some tough games early on, which will really take the measure of our team. After the first week of practice, I am impressed by how much bigger, stronger and faster we look. So far, I like what I see.
Matt Barkley, Robert Woods and the Band
Coach O and the Band
Barkley, Pat Haden and J.K. McKay at the Water Cooler
Lane Kiffin and his Visor
Here is a tease of our first basketball promo starring Dewayne Dedmon, Jio Fontan and our Rich Rodriguez getting on the floor.
KC is headed to KC. Keary Colbert, who was an assistant on last year's Trojan staff, made his comeback complete by signing with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Steve Smith is the latest member of the Philadelphia Eagles free agent "Dream Team" class. The former Pro Bowler is recovering from microfracture knee surgery.
The first poster featuring Matt Barkley is now available in hard copy at Heritage Hall and will be given out at the home opener against Minnesota on September 3.
Click the link to download the defensive themed poster featuring T.J. McDonald.
- Good news first! RB Curtis McNeal will be academically eligible this season after getting the necessary grades in summer school. As Lane Kiffin acknowledged, McNeal has dealt with a lot of adversity at a young age and seems to be coming out the other side a better man.
- LB Chris Galippo's MRI on his shoulder came back negative (which is positive). He has a bruise and likely won't be out too long.
- Brice Butler came out to practice on crutches after suffering an ankle injury.
- OL Giovanni Di Poalo needs shoulder surgery and will miss the entire season.
- The Marine corps 1st Radio Battalion spent the day shadowing the team and watched closely at practice tonight (pictured). These soldiers served a year in Afghanistan as part of a dangerous daily patrol and they are headed back for another tour of duty. They are stationed at Camp Pendleton.
- In speaking with them, they said they enjoyed special teams coach John Baxter's meeting the most because of his innovative teaching style. They were really impressed with his leadership skills and the discipline of the team as a whole. After practice, the unit presented Kiffin with a plaque.
- The marines got a decent show tonight as the Trojans went through live tackling drills for the first time this camp. In the linebacker group, Kiffin complimented Simione Vehikite. Freshman Lamar Dawson showed a willingness to get physical. Redshirt freshman Hayes Pullard had the biggest hit, which dislodged the ball from walk-on Cody Gifford.
- The intensity level was raised another notch with the first goal line drill. Despite an undersized running back corps, the offense dominated the sequence. McNeal, Dillon Baxter, Amir Carlisle and Robert Woods all got in for scores.
- The coaches have been playing a lot more music in practice this year. There was a constant soundtrack during Monday's scrimmage and most of tonight. While it serves as crowd noise, it also gets the players going, especially Galippo, who is a one man dance party. Although, Brandon Carswell had the dance move of the night as he celebrated a teammate's touchdown by getting on all fours and barking at the defense. We'll post a photo tomorrow.
- Nick Perry's 2010 season was derailed during the first goal line drill of camp last year when he suffered a high ankle sprain, so he was happy just to make it through unscathed. "It's a beautiful day to be out here for the Trojans," a smiling Perry said.
- The redshirt junior made the play of the day by leaping to tip a screen pass and then catching his own deflection. He admitted that he jumped the route because he had "seen it too many times." He was proud to show off his high school basketball vertical leap.
- Jurrell Casey led USC in sacks last season with only 4.5 on the campaign. The Trojans desperately need Perry to fulfill his tremendous potential as a pass rusher. "It's just about being hungry and coming together as a defensive line unit," Perry explained.
- The group has no doubt been improved by the addition of Devon Kennard. "He's a first team guy," Perry praised. "He gives it up every play. We're lucky to have him."
- The defensive line might get one more boost before camp ends if Armond Armstead can get medically cleared. "It would be huge. That would be one more piece to the puzzle that we're missing right now. We can't do it without him," said Perry who admitted that the extra body would help keep everyone in the rotation fresh.
- Thursday's practice is at 3 p.m. Short and sweet from Kiffin tonight...
After reaching the Final Four in 2010, the Women of Troy return the veteran core of the team led by outside hitter Alex Jupiter, setter Kendall Bateman, middle blocker Lauren Williams and libero Natalie Hagglund. Jupiter, Bateman and Williams all earned All-American honors and Hagglung is coming off an award-winning summer playing for the United States.
The Pac-12 coaches are obviously impressed as they unanimously voted Mick Haley's squad the preseason conference favorites ahead of Cal, Washington and Stanford.
Here's a fun look at two of the programs top talents, Alex Jupiter and Kendall Bateman, as they take our Summer 60s.
Hill imparted lessons from his career both as an NFL football player and a network sports anchor. He also instructed the student-athletes by bringing up three different players to do sample interviews.
Athletic director and former broadcaster Pat Haden spoke to the teams as well as sports information director Tim Tessalone.
- The injury list has grown: LB Chris Galippo missed practice this morning and will have an MRI on his right shoulder later today. QB Jesse Scroggins was also a no-show and plans to see a hand specialist sometime this week, after spraining a ligament on his throwing hand during Monday's scrimmage. Freshman OG Aundrey Walker (who began practice with the first team O-line for the second straight day) suffered a hip strain during the morning session, although Lane Kiffin didn't believe it was all that serious. S Tony Burnett (ankle) and RB Amir Carlisle (quad) also left practice early.
- Although the last session of summer school ended on Tuesday, sophomore WR Markeith Ambles will be held out of practice until his grades come back.
- Special teams training reigned supreme Wednesday morning, and freshman PK Andre Heidari took full advantage of the extra work. Heidari- who Kiffin said would be the starter after his performance in Monday's scrimmage- made five-of-six attempts inside of 50 yards. The punter job is still up for grabs according to the head coach, as freshman Kris Albarado and redshirt junior walk-on Kyle Negrete vie for the final nod.
- Sophomore return men Nickell Robey and Robert Woods took part in an early morning competition, to see who could catch and hold onto more balls at once without a single drop. Both maintained four with ease, but No.5 ultimately did them in, ending the battle in a draw.
- Kiffin acknowledged that he has spoken to RB Marc Tyler, who is currently not with the team due to off-field behavior. "Nothing has changed, and he is still trying to get himself right." The coach went on to reiterate that there is no timetable for his return to camp.
- Quarterback Matt Barkley was Mr. Efficiency during the two-minute drill. The junior connected on seven-of-eight attempts and drove the offense 70 yards down the field in just over 90 seconds. The drive was capped off by a 10-yard touchdown grab from redshirt senior Brandon Carswell (pictured above).
- Speaking of Carswell, Kiffin lauded the wide receiver for his consistency and work ethic during camp to this point. He even went as far as to dub No.80 "the front-runner for the MVP of camp" through the first week.
- Carswell on his place in USC's talented receiving corps: "I'm not really worried about being talked about or anything like that. I am just trying to go out here and do my job, as well as making sure everybody around is doing there job, so we can win games."
- Today's two-a-day continues under the lights of Howard Jones Field at 6 p.m. Here's the coach after the no-pads portion of practice.
Take a look...
- New names on the injury list: QB Jesse Scroggins, S T.J. McDonald and LB Chris Galippo. Scroggins sprained a ligament in the thumb on his throwing hand last night. McDonald twisted his ankle this evening, but played through the pain. Galippo banged his shoulder, but they did not deem the injury serious.
- Lane Kiffin confirmed that Demetrius Wright suffered a hip pointer last night. He was on crutches today, but he is expected to recover quickly.
- If Wright does miss extended time, Jawanza Starling will likely benefit. He lost his starting job due to tackling deficiencies last year, but he's improved in that area. "In high school, I was one of the biggest players, so I never really had form tackling," Starling explained. "It was more like just throwing my shoulder and throwing my body in there and they were going to fall."
- The offensive line is starting to sort itself out. Now that the coaches are comfortable with Kevin Graf at right tackle, freshman Aundrey Walker moved inside to right guard. He looked good today in his new role and Kiffin complimented his performance in the preseason game. It appears that it's his job to lose.
- At the other guard spot, the rest of the candidates will compete, which includes John Martinez, Jeremy Galten, Martin Coleman and Abe Markowitz. Kiffin said he was not happy with the guard play after looking at the film.
- He is pleased with freshman LB Lamar Dawson. The Kentucky native is playing right behind Chris Galippo at middle linebacker, so he moved to the #1 spot temporarily when the senior hurt his shoulder. "We have someone pretty special," Kiffin told his staff today.
- At the skill positions, Curtis McNeal broke off several long runs. He is gaining a reputation for consistent practice intensity. "Curtis McNeal has a solid practice every practice," teammate Dillon Baxter said. "He is one of the guys that makes me work every day."
- The practice was interception free until LB Will Andrew picked off Max Wittek.
- Kyle Prater made the catch of the day with a leaping sideline grab in traffic and he got a foot down. He has struggled at times in camp making the routine reception, but he has the ability to make the spectacular play.
- Play of the day: Cody Kessler hit Victor Blackwell on a 65-yard bomb for a freshmen touchdown connection.
- Anthony Brown is not a household name yet, but the cornerback enjoyed a strong spring and earned the nickel spot entering camp. "I really know the plays now, so when my name is called, I'm able to play fast," said Brown. "I'm breaking much quicker to the ball, which was one of my weaknesses last year."
- Wednesday brings the first two-a-day of the 2011 fall camp. The Trojans will practice at 8:45 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Here is the Lakewood product who is making some noise as he prepares for his redshirt freshman season...
As he makes a play to be Matt Barkley's backup, the true freshman has completed a nearly perfect 27 of 33 passes in his four official scrimmages combined dating back to the spring.
The Bakersfield native impressed head coach Lane Kiffin who complimented the youngster for raising his level when the competition heats up.
Juniors Nick Perry (pictured below) and Wes Horton were named to the 35 person watch list for the best defensive end in the nation.
Click the link for the complete list.
- The defensive coaches emphasized getting faster defensively in the offseason by switching Devon Kennard to defensive end from linebacker and Dion Bailey from safety to linebacker. The latter move paid huge dividends tonight as Bailey used his natural cover skills to intercept passes on back-to-back plays, including returning one for a touchdown. "When I guard tight ends now, it is like taking candy from a baby," said Bailey about his confidence in coverage. "When the quarterback throws the ball to the tight end, I feel like I should get my hands on it every time."
- D.J. Morgan (24 carries for 160 yards and a fumble) started at tailback, but after tonight, Dillon Baxter (12 carries for 103 yards and 1 TD plus a receiving TD) has a nose in front on top of the depth chart. Both runners posted gaudy stats, but Baxter did not fumble and earned some hard yards against the top defensive unit. While he came in with a reputation as a scat back, the San Diego native is bulking up and running more downhill. "Once you hit the hole, a lot more things will open up for you," said Baxter about dancing less.
- Speaking of moves up the depth chart, Cody Kessler looked like the future USC quarterback tonight. The true freshman completed a nearly perfect 16 of 18 passes for 187 yards to go with 3 TDs and an INT. While he does not light up the radar gun like Jesse Scroggins and Max Wittek, Kessler plays his best when the lights are the brightest. "He's not the guy that walks on the field and blows you away," said Lane Kiffin who described the young QB as a "gamer."
- 6'5" Kyle Prater (pictured wearing the new double striped practice pants) is an inviting target for Matt Barkley (10 for 20 for 82 yards and 1 TD/1 INT), but the lanky redshirt freshman struggled with drops tonight despite reeling in six balls for 38 yards. Instead, once forgotten 6'4" Brice Butler is looking like the classic X receiver earning praise for his toughness and contributing 5 receptions for 90 yards and 2 TDs (1 rushing).
- The much ballyhooed freshmen receiving trio (George Farmer, Marqise Lee and Victor Blackwell) did not play a single snap in the first half. They did make some highlights late in the night, including a leaping hands catch for a score by the uber-athletic Lee. Lane Kiffin bemoaned the typical freshmen mental mistakes at all positions, but made the point that RB Amir Carlisle (10 carries for 82 yards and a TD) was the exception.
- A few more starting lineup notes: Anthony Brown (6 tackles and 2 pass deflections) is the third corner as of now. Defensive tackles Christian Tupou and DaJohn Harris started over George Uko. Rhett Ellison took the first reps at fullback.
- Starting safety Demetrius Wright suffered what appeared to be a serious injury, but it turned out just to be a hip pointer, according to Kiffin.
Written by Jovan Buha, USC blog contributor
Almost every successful athlete has a backstory that separates him or her from the rest of the crowd. In most cases, athletes use their life obstacles - as light or burdensome as they may be - as motivation for their athletic achievements.
Dewayne Dedmon's hurdle on his path to Division I basketball is far from conventional. Due to religious responsibilities, Dedmon's mother felt it was in his best interest not to partake in sporting activities, and focus on church instead. The 21-year-old power forward/center didn't starting playing organized basketball until he turned 18 years old, right before the start of his senior year at Lancaster High School.
As a 6'9 senior, Dedmon didn't play much, averaging a mere 1.4 points and 3.0 rebounds. After developing a passion for basketball, Dedmon greyshirted at Antelope Valley College (after growing to 7-foot, 225 lbs.), sitting out his first season as a part-time student. In his second year, Dedmon helped lead Antelope Valley to a 17-14 record with averages of 6.6 points and 7.8 rebounds.
A forehead and nasal cavity injury caused Dedmon to miss the last seven games of conference play, but he returned in time for the playoffs. After turning down offers from Texas and Washington, Dedmon chose USC, and redshirted after transferring during the second semester to preserve eligibility (officially a redshirt sophomore).
Kevin O'Neill is high on Dedmon and adamant he could be a potential first round pick in the NBA. It won't be an easy task, though, as the pressure will be on Dedmon, as well as James Blasczyk, Aaron Fuller and Garrett Jackson, to fill the void left by Nikola Vucevic and Alex Stepheson. When asked about his greatest strength and weakness, Dedmon was quick to respond.
"My strength is that I play hard," he said. "No matter what the score is, no matter what I'm going through, if I'm sick or injured, I'm going to play hard regardless. I feel like I can just get better in every aspect of my game. That's what I'm focusing on. Everything."
Dedmon says he hasn't been given a particular role yet, but claims "when he [Coach O'Neill] tells me that, that's when I'll go and play that role." Although he has been focusing on improving his game this offseason, as well as working on conditioning and weightlifting, Dedmon feels team chemistry is the key for the Trojans.
"Just get everybody's chemistry together so we can play together as a team. Because when you get team chemistry together, it's harder to beat a team as a whole than when they're individuals by themselves. That's my focus."
The thing he is looking forward to most this upcoming season, other than the Brazil trip, is facing the Trojans' crosstown rival for the first time.
"I just want to beat UCLA. That's my big goal. Twice. Here and there. That's my biggest goal."
Click here for the complete story.
This year's Trojans have the luxury of big man depth with Dewayne Dedmon, Aaron Fuller and James Blasczyk added to the returning Garrett Jackson.
We will be honoring the 1961 (50th anniversary) and 1986 (25th anniversary) teams plus you will get to meet the 2011 players and coaches. The entire team will be available for autographs.
And of course, the Spirit of Troy will provide the soundtrack; the Song Girls will bring the entertainment; and the majestic Traveler will be there for photos.
Please RSVP by August 12 by reserving a table online, emailing USC or calling (213) 740-4155.
Let's fill the place up and make it a road game for the Bruins!
Click here for the ticket link!
And don't forget, USC men's basketball actual home games at Galen Center can be purchased at GetTrojanTix.com.
- The injury list gained two new additions on Sunday as TE Christian Thomas and CB Brian Baucham were held out of practice with injuries to the hip and hamstring respectively. Two of Saturday's casualties, DT Christian Tupou (knee) and CB Torin Harris (concussion), also did not practice. Lane Kiffin said both injuries were not believed to be serious, although the team will continue to run tests on Harris.
- As was the case on Saturday, OL Giovanni Di Poalo (shoulder), OL Cody Temple (back) and DT/LB J.R. Tavai (hamstring) were all sideline bystanders on Sunday as well.
- Freshman Marqise Lee shined on special teams, although not in the return game. Lee's speed and quick hands were put on display as he downed three punts inside the five-yard line.
- Although PK Andre Heidari's conditioning has come into question during the first four days of camp, the freshman made the most of his reps on Sunday. After missing wide left from under 40 yards, Heidari ended his day by knocking in two attempts from over 50 yards.
- Matt Barkley rebounded nicely from his three-interception performance on Saturday. His talented core of WRs and TEs, however, did not. During seven-on-seven drills, six different guys dropped passes.
- Play of the day: On the final play of practice, freshman QB Max Wittek threw a deep fade intended for WR Brice Butler in the back right corner of the end zone. Unfortunately for Wittek, JC transfer Isiah Wiley timed his jump perfectly and made a tremendous leaping grab for the interception much to delight of the entire defense.
- Kiffin once again mentioned the play of freshman RB Amir Carlisle after practice. Among the halfbacks, the head coach said Carlisle "continues to stand out every day." He did however add that any true assessment of the position cannot be made until he sees all of the backs compete in real game situations.
- While Carlisle has gotten plenty of recognition through four days, Curtis "Moody" McNeal (pictured above) excelled in all facets on Sunday. Combined with two long running attempts, McNeal continued to look more and more disciplined in pass blocking schemes as day four rolled along.
- WR Robert Woods has now added another element to his already versatile game, trash- talking. Earlier in camp, Woods and CB Torin Harris got into a war of words. During several occasions on Sunday, the sophomore once again showed off his new gift of gab to the likes of LB Chris Galippo and S T.J. McDonald.
- Woods on his vocal presence: "I just got tired of the defense always out-talking the offense and the offense has always just been quiet and letting it happen. I am just trying to speak up, get the offense in tune and get hyped up when we make plays."
- Kiffin called tomorrow night's 7 PM scrimmage at the Coliseum the first "big test" for this team during fall camp. The inter-squad matchup will feature something that was often missing due to injuries during last year's fall camp, tackling. The scrimmage will be closed to the general public due to the NCAA sanctions.
- Here's the coach after another three-hour affair on Howard Jones Field:
- The injury list is growing although nothing seems particularly serious. DT Christian Tupou was sidelined mid-session by an issue with his surgically repaired knee. Lane Kiffin does not know the severity of the problem, but he thinks it's typical soreness from three straight days.
- OL Giovanni Di Poalo (shoulder), OL Cody Temple (back) and CB Torin Harris (concussion test) missed some or all of practice.
- Freshman J.R. Tavai left with a hamstring injury. He is listed on the roster as a defensive tackle, but he's been working in with the linebacker group and wears a typical linebacker number (#58).
- In special teams work, freshmen George Farmer, Amir Carlisle and Marqise Lee are starting to get reps with the returners.
- On the kicking side, the competitions at placekicker and punter are not going to be easily won by the freshmen. PK Andre Heidari needs to work on his conditioning after gaining weight this summer before he holds off walk-on Craig McMahon. At punter, Kris Albarado is getting a stern test from redshirt junior transfer Kyle Negrete who consistently outdistanced him today.
- Play of the day: LB Shane Horton made a tremendous stretching interception in the red zone. The redshirt senior is one of many players who appears to finally be healthy after he battled a hip issue all last year.
- Kiffin mentioned CB Nickell Robey and DT George Uko as other defensive standouts. DB Jawanza Starling had some big hits despite the no tackling rule. The offense could not move the ball with any kind of consistency throughout the session, which does not trouble Kiffin. "If we're going to be great here, we've got to play great defense," the head coach said.
- The running back group has only gotten more cluttered since the start of camp with the emergence of freshman Amir Carlisle. All four backs are similarly sized without Marc Tyler in the mix, so someone will need to prove that he can earn the hard yards. "'Moody' is a hard runner and our new little freshman Amir is running pretty hard and I think I can do pretty good in goal line this year," said Dillon Baxter.
- Baxter has drawn compliments from the coaches and staff about his improved attitude after a trying freshman season. "I was just tired of being on ESPN for bad stuff," Baxter said about his disciplinary transformation. "Football is coming good right now, so I think things are turning around a little bit."
- While Curtis "Moody" McNeal is the smallest of the bunch, he excelled in pass blocking drills, which will help shake his diminutive stereotype. The running backs will get their first real test on Monday when they can start breaking tackles.
- As you can see in the picture, "No Distractions" has been painted as the first message the players receive upon entering the practice field.
- Here is the head coach after a marathon matinee...
- Freshman DT J.R. Tavai left practice with a hamstring injury. Otherwise, the injury report was pretty clean.
- The increased number of healthy bodies and a bloated 2011 recruiting class gives the coaching staff much more flexibility than they had last year. The first preseason game is Monday and Lane Kiffin said that they have enough bodies to field two teams and simulate a real game, which was never the case last year or during the spring.
- Freshman RB Amir Carlisle is the story of fall camp through two practices. He broke off several long runs and displayed great vision and speed. Plus, he is a 4.0 student, so he is catching on quick.
- For what it's worth, Dillon Baxter was the first running back up in team drills, but he appears to be splitting carries equally with D.J. Morgan and Curtis McNeal.
- Kevin Graf might be moving ahead in the battle at right tackle. "We're starting to feel better about our right tackle," Kiffin said.
- The head coach seems more concerned with the unsettled guard spots. Jeremy Galten and John Martinez are running with the first team, but true freshmen Cyrus Hobbi and Aundrey Walker will get serious consideration. "We've got to figure out our guards and figure out if it's going to be a true freshman," Kiffin said.
- The wide receiver position is absolutely loaded. With the return of Kyle Prater and Brice Butler, who drew praise from the head coach, to go along with the three freshmen, Matt Barkley has no shortage of weapons at his disposal. Marqise Lee jumped out again today (literally) by displaying freakish leaping ability.
- Speaking of receivers, Robert Woods is much more vocal this season. Last year, he quietly went about his business, but he has found his voice early in camp.
- Quote of the day: "Our young skilled guys on offense are starting to look like what they used to here," said Kiffin.
- Defensively, Chris Galippo is the quarterback. He needs to orchestrate a unit devoid of much experience. "I am naturally extremely vocal," said the redshirt senior. "Our offense thrives on me messing up because I talk so much during practice."
- Galippo, who said he's as healthy as he's ever been, was expected to be the next great USC linebacker after a star-studded career at Servite, so he can relate to the immediate pressure heaped on Lamar Dawson who was tagged with #55 on day one. "I credit him for being as humble as he is. He listens, which is a good quality to have as a younger guy," said Galippo, who advised Dawson to be a sponge. "[The freshmen] are still kind of running around with their heads cut off."
- The picture above is of a patch on Devon Kennard's jersey, which denotes guys who have a top ten GPA on the team or a cumulative 3.0 or better.
- Here is a less excited Lane Kiffin after practice two...
John McGillen matched the new faces with names and numbers...
And they are motivating Matt Barkley and Robert Woods in our latest GetTrojanTix.com spot.
Click the link to read the story by USC's Seth Rubinroit.
Marcus Allen Harold Pump Foundation.doc
The bill enacts penalties for agents who look to victimize collegiate athletes by preying on their financial needs and jeopardizing their eligibility and future pro career.
"The dirty secret behind student-athletes is that they toil for long hours pursuing their dreams but are often living in poverty. They are very vulnerable to unscrupulous agents preying on them in the hopes of a future reward," said the bill's author Senator Kevin de León, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Sports and Entertainment. "I am thrilled California is now one step closer to preventing student athlete victimization with the passage of this legislation."
- The health news was almost all positive as camp begins. Freshman OL Cody Temple (back) was the only player fully sidelined. Eight players suffered from cramps during the session.
- DL Armond Armstead reported, "I do not have a heart condition." He missed spring practice, while undergoing tests, but he expects to return by the season opener.
- Markeith Ambles was not at practice, so he could concentrate on finishing the summer school session strong. Incoming freshmen "Buck" Allen and Junior Pomee are still tending to summer high school classes.
- In general, Lane Kiffin was extremely positive after practice. He credited the strength staff with improving the entire roster physically. "What I saw today, we looked different than a year ago," Kiffin said. "I know it's day one, but we challenged them physically and mentally."
- The offensive line is the position group that most needs sorting out. On day one, the veterans were getting the majority of the first team reps. RT Kevin Graf, RG Jeremy Galten and LG John Martinez joined stalwarts Khaled Holmes and Matt Kalil with the first group.
- Behind center, the back-up quarterback competition still appears wide open. All three candidates (Jesse Scroggins, Cody Kessler and Max Wittek) struggled with accuracy. Of course, it is only day one.
- A healthy Drew McAllister is a welcome sight. The redshirt junior has been held back by hip injuries during his time at Troy, but when healthy, he displays tremendous instincts from the deep safety spot. He had one of many interceptions tonight.
- On the freshman front, WR Marqise Lee was productive during the team portion. Physically, you cannot help but be awed at times by WR George Farmer and OL Aundrey Walker.
- The fullback group is much deeper than the spring when Soma Vainuku was the only real option. TE Rhett Ellison worked in with that unit alongside freshman Charles Burks and walk-on Hunter Simmons.
- Funniest play of the day: Chris Galippo made a diving deflection of a Barkley pass that caromed to Shane Horton for an interception. After an extended delayed reaction, Galippo bounced up screaming, "I tipped it!" He then took off for the end zone to celebrate with Horton.
- Barkley and Robert Woods hooked up on a gorgeous 40-yard rainbow for a TD. Brandon Carswell also caught a bomb to draw "oohs" from a larger-than-usual crowd of media and family.
- Christian Tupou is the most noticeable difference from last year. From the team stretch to the final horns, he provides an infectious spirit and energy, which was lacking at times last season. "You can't play this game without emotions," said the senior leader. "That's just me and I guess that's what my teammates feed off of."
- His voice is particularly important to the young freshmen who were experiencing their first USC practice tonight. "We're constantly on them and helping them. We're just trying to be that older brother to them. We're trying to make it easy for them because it's the first day and they are just trying to tread water."
- Former head coach John Robinson attended practice. Here's the current head coach taking questions...
Here's a behind-the-scenes peak at this year's photo shoot...
Click here to email us your photos and enter!
Patterson collapsed at morning practice yesterday and suffered a seizure, but he is in stable condition.
Click here for the full story and Patterson's diagnosis.
The Trojan Family wishes Mike a speedy recovery. Our thought and prayers are with him. Fight on!
Gemelos earned a spot on the team behind a strong showing at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO, and an All-Pac-10 honorable mention season at Troy.
Click here for a great ESPN W story on Jacki's perseverance!
Click the link to download the football poster in full resolution!
The USCTrojans.com blog will provide blanket coverage of fall camp for you.
After every practice, we'll get you the breaking news, notes, interviews, Lane Kiffin press conference and photo galleries. Plus, we are unveiling a new "Fall Camp" show featuring special guests throughout the month as we take you behind-the-scenes of USC football like no one else can.
It's a fun time of the year. Here's poster #1...
The son of a Trojan All-American answers rapid fire questions on Fresno, dreadlocks and knocking out all-time greats.
Here's a look at the event...
Click here for the full story!
Here's the list of luminaries:
Art Bartner (Trojan Marching Band)
Lindsay Benko (Women's Swimming)
Steve Bisheff (Sportswriter)
Tony Boselli (Football)
Clarence Davis (Football)
Barbara Hallquist (Women's Tennis)
Barbara Hedges (Women's Administrator)
Bob Hughes (Men's Water Polo and Swimming)
Bryan Ivie (Men's Volleyball)
Keyshawn Johnson (Football)
Randy Johnson (Baseball)
Jill McGill (Women's Golf)
Tina Thompson (Women's Basketball)
Forrest Twogood (Men's Basketball Coach)
Quincy Watts (Men's Track and Field)
Adrian Young (Football)
The class of 2012 will be inducted into the USC Hall of Fame at a dinner on May 12 of next year.
Trojan Marching Band director Art Bartner (pictured) will receive a Spirit Award. Forrest Twogood will be honored posthumously.
Unlike in previous years, the players will stagger in throughout the day because they still have summer school, but we caught starting CB Tony "Red Dread" Burnett entering the building.
The coaches decide the roommate pairings and they can be strategic in some cases.
Of note, Matt Barkley will build chemistry with highly-touted receiving recruit George Farmer. Another Serra alum Marqise Lee will learn the necessary camp preparation from former high school teammate Robert Woods, who wowed the coaches with his work ethic in fall camp last year.
Christian Tupou is the vocal leader of this team, so roommate Aundrey Walker, who is a massive freshman offensive lineman, would be wise to keep his ears open at night. And on the defensive side, T.J. McDonald will get a chance to mentor LB Lamar Dawson, who has already had the coveted #55 bestowed upon him.
The team will meet tonight as a complete unit for the first time and then begin practice Thursday at 7 p.m.
(Photo by John McGillen)
"He's absolutely alert, stable, totally communicating with everybody, even joking a little bit," said Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder. "We won't speculate what happened to him, other than he had a seizure. It could be anything. We don't even want to speculate what might have happened."
The Trojan All-American was drafted by Philadelphia in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He has more starts for the Eagles than any current player on their roster.
(Philadelphia Daily News/Photo was not taken today)
Here's a shirtless Holmes showing off his well-coiffed mane, while taking his "Summer 60."
Click here to watch the video!
The U.S. junior national team finished fourth after losing the bronze medal match to China. The USC women's volleyball team will begin the 2011 season on August 26 at the AVCA Showcase at University Park, PA (Penn State) against Minnesota.
(Photo courtesy of USA Volleyball/FIVB)
- USC women's lacrosse head coach Lindsey Munday and assistant Devon Wills will suit up for the U.S. national team as they build toward the 2013 World Cup in Canada.
- The New York Times discussed the NCAA's penalty of vacating wins using USC as a case study.
- The LA Times Bill Dwyre believes Pat Haden has USC on the right track with better days ahead.
- Coaching legend and former Trojan hoopster Tex Winter will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame next week. Here's all the info:
- Former USC water polo player Alison Riddle is pushing the sport of competitive lifeguarding.
- Pedro Moura previewed the men's basketball team as they prepare for the trip to Brazil.
- Scott Wolf has an injury update on Trojan track star Bryshon Nellum.
- Michael Lev previews fall camp, which gets underway Thursday.
- Whitney Blaine takes a look at the Horton brothers who will both be huge factors in the 2011 USC defense.
- Steve Bisheff still views Lane Kiffin as a mystery heading into year two of his tenure.
- The 50th annual 6-Man volleyball tournament at Manhattan Beach was dominated by Trojans last weekend. The winning men's squad was led by a USC core of Murphy Troy, Austin Zahn (pictured below), Tri Bourne and Riley McKibbin. They defeated the three-time defending champs. The women's champions were led by former Trojan Diane Copenhagen (pictured right).
The tenacious pass rusher has been moved back to his natural defensive end position and he's ready to terrorize quarterbacks.
He showed us his smiling side as he took his "Summer 60."
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It is only 10 questions. Thank you for participating!
Click here for the complete story.
Serra stars turned Trojans have dominated this award the last two years as Lee edged out teammate George Farmer.
Lee won state championships in both football and basketball during his time as a Cavalier. Plus, he posted the third best wind-legal long jump mark (24-foot, 8-inch) in the nation as a high school senior.
Given his freakish athletic ability, Lee could be a versatile piece on the gridiron. He will start camp as a wide receiver, but Lane Kiffin could try him at defensive back at some point.
Plus, Kevin O'Neill might need a lockdown defender on the hardwood come winter time.
(Photos by Scott Varley)
- OL Butch Lewis signed with the Kansas City Chiefs.
- DL Derek Simmons signed with the Baltimore Ravens.
- Punter Jacob Harfman signed with the Atlanta Falcons.
- Six former USC players have now been signed as undrafted free agents to go along with nine Trojans who were selected on draft day.
- Pete Carroll and Co. asked LB Lofa Tatupu to restructure his contract. The former Pro Bowler was granted his release by the Seahawks when they could not agree to terms.
- Here's a great shot of WR David Ausberry signing his first professional contract with the Oakland Raiders...