#USC2RIO: Thomas Dunstan

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The countdown is on to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and once again, USC will be represented by a roster of Trojans that would match most countries. Time to unveil your USC Olympians...

Name: Thomas Dunstan

Country: United States of America

Event: Men's Water Polo

USC men's water polo is already one of the most powerful programs in the country, and the future is even brighter with Team USA talent Thomas Dunstan coming in next season. The Mater Dei product grew up in Connecticut, but he is happy to stay in Southern California, home to the best water polo in the country.

The 18-year-old already has a strong international history, grabbing gold with the USA Youth Team at the 2014 UANA Junior Pan American Championship. With the senior team, he scored four goals in the 2016 FINA World League Super Final, earning himself a ticket to Rio.

"Thomas is definitely one of the top two recruits in the nation this year," said USC head coach Jovan Vavic. "The kid is big, fast and a lefty. He's a great swimmer, has long arms, can play at 2-meters, shoot from the outside, play 2-meter defense and help in the counterattack. He's also a great passer -- almost too unselfish in his passing. He's really a complete package."


Wide Receiver U Too

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USC has had a receiver finish in the top two in the Pac-12 in yards per game in four of the last five years, including Biletnikoff Award candidate JuJu Smith-Schuster who topped the conference last year.

Click here for the complete watch list.

Smith-Schuster has taken the torch from recent greats Nelson Agholor, Marqise Lee and Robert Woods, putting up extraordinary numbers in 2015. Despite a broken hand suffered in the middle of the season, Smith-Schuster made 89 catches for 1,454 yards and 10 TDs.


#USC2RIO: Andre De Grasse

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The countdown is on to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and once again, USC will be represented by a roster of Trojans that would match most countries. Time to unveil your USC Olympians...

Name: Andre De Grasse

Country: Canada

Event: Men's Track 100m, 200m and 4x100m

In one year's time, Andre De Grasse has emerged from obscurity to become a national sensation in his native Canada. The 2015 NCAA champion in the 100m and 200m has gone on to win double gold (100m and 200m) at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto and a pair of bronze medals (100m and 4x100m) at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing.

Now, he is ramping up to his first Olympic Games, winning the 100m dash at the Canadian trials in 9.99, his best time of the year. He also finished third in the 200m (20.32), which was good enough to qualify for the event in which he holds the Canadian record.

"It's been a whirlwind," De Grasse said. "I didn't expect to be in this position right now, making my first Olympic team. It's a dream come true for me. I just want to keep that momentum going towards Rio and make myself proud, and this country.

"I'll be ready to run the race of a lifetime."

Andre De Grasse.jpg

The Cardinal Carpet

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The Trojan Family will be well represented at this year's ESPY Awards, Wednesday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, including head coach Clay Helton, women's volleyball National Player of the Year Samantha Bricio and incoming track & field star Michael Norman.

In all, seven standout Trojans will walk the red carpet, starting with Helton who will be joined by all the Pac-12 head coaches in town for media days. Bricio is an ESPY nominee for College Female Athlete of the Year, while Norman is a two-time Gatorade National High School Boys' Track & Field Athlete of the Year.

For winning the Capital One Cup as the top women's program in the country this year, the Women of Troy will send All-American Michaela Michael (women's lacrosse), NCAA relay champion Chelsea Chenault (women's swimming and diving) and national champion Nicolette Martin (beach volleyball) as representatives.

Finally, Khalia Lanier, another incoming freshman, will be honored as the Gatorade National High School Girls' Volleyball Player of the Year. She is the daughter of NBA Hall of Famer Bob Lanier.

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for the full red carpet coverage.


#USC2RIO: Aaron Brown

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The countdown is on to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and once again, USC will be represented by a roster of Trojans that would match most countries. Time to unveil your USC Olympians...

Name: Aaron Brown

Country: Canada

Event: Men's Track 100m, 200m and 4x100m

Brown is one half of USC's Canadian dynamic duo with Andre De Grasse. The two will combine to form the strength of the Canadians 4x100m relay team and battle it out with the other fastest men in the world in the 100m and 200m sprints.

While De Grasse has overshadowed Brown in the last year, the 24-year-old is already an Olympic veteran, making the semifinals at London 2012 in the 200m. At the Canadian trials last week, Brown finished a step behind De Grasse in the 100m, running 10.07, but beat him in the 200m (20.32).

"We have a friendly rivalry and want to bring glory to Canada," said Brown about his relationship with De Grasse. "We'll be friends regardless of what happens."

Earlier this year, Brown ran a personal-best 9.96, joining De Grasse as the only Canadians in the last 17 years to run under 10 seconds in the 100m.

"This is a perfect opportunity for me and Aaron. Canada hasn't had two sub-10 sprinters for a long time, so I think me and him are going to do big things," De Grasse said.

Aaron Brown.jpg

Sophomore Leader

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USC does not return a ton of starting experience at the linebacker level, so the Trojans will be dependent on Freshman All-American Cameron Smith to lead the unit by displaying the same advanced maturity that made him a starter from day one in his college career. While Smith is coming back from a season-ending knee injury, he is still tabbed by the Butkus Award to be one of the best linebackers in the country.

Click here for the complete watch list.

In his only season at Troy, Smith finished second on the team in tackles (78), despite playing four fewer games than team leader Su'a Cravens. He also tied for the team-high in interceptions, collecting all three in one game against Utah.


First Look: 2016 USC Football Uniforms

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USC's 2016 uniforms respect the past and represent the future.

#USC2RIO: Hannah Buckling

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The countdown is on to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and once again, USC will be represented by a roster of Trojans that would match most countries. Time to unveil your USC Olympians...

Name: Hannah Buckling

Country: Australia

Event: Women's Water Polo

USC boasts a dominant women's water polo program, including the 2016 undefeated national champions, so it's no surprise that the Women of Troy litter the Olympic rosters, including Australian standout Hannah Buckling.

In her single season served at USC, Buckling certainly made her mark. She was instrumental in the Trojans' run to the 2013 NCAA Championship, earning status as the 2013 MPSF Tournament MVP and going on to garner All-American honors after punching up 40 goals for the Women of Troy that season.

Upon her return to Australia, Buckling rejoined her National Team and has stood out as a driving force for the Aussies' success. Buckling provided five goals for Australia in its fourth-place finish at the 2010 FINA World Championships, following up the silver medal that she won in the 2013 event. Buckling was the 2012 Australian Junior Female Water Polo Player of the Year, and has stayed on that powerful path in her time with the Stingers.

Australia most recently captured bronze at the 2016 FINA Super Final, led by two goals from Buckling for the Aussies in the bronze-medal match.



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The USC defense will face a slew of talented receivers this season, starting with Alabama sophomore Calvin Ridley, so the Trojans need All-Pac-12 CB Adoree' Jackson to be a foundational piece of Clancy Pendergast's scheme. The Jim Thorpe Award, which annually searches for the best defensive back in America, expects the electrifying USC junior to do just that, placing him on the preseason watch list.

Click here for the complete list.

On paper, the USC secondary is loaded, returning all four starters, led by the incomparable Jackson. He will be joined at corner by Freshman All-American Iman "Biggie' Marshall and five-star freshman Jack Jones. The safeties bring a wealth of experience and talent as well, including sophomore Marvell Tell III, juniors Chris Hawkins and John Plattenburg, and senior Leon McQuay III.


Coaching Class

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USC head coach Clay Helton is one of 24 men in his profession recognized by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award for stressing the importance of scholarship, leadership and integrity.

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Helton is gearing up for his first full season as USC head coach. He has already displayed tremendous character taking over as an interim head coach during a challenging season and leading the Trojans to the Pac-12 South title.