USC Trojans: USC Trojans


A flurry of commitments and decommitments has led to considerable movement in the latest class rankings update. Several top-10 programs added ESPN 300 prospects, including Tennessee, which picked up top-10 ILB Darrin Kirkland Jr. The Vols already have a class that features a talented group of defensive linemen, and have now added a big, powerful inside linebacker that can develop into a tough downhill run-stopper. Butch Jones now has Tennessee in contention for a second-straight top-five finish.

Outside the top 10, USC landed a verbal from in-state tight end Tyler Petite, a tall, lengthy prospect with the size, speed and leaping ability to potentially create mismatches as a receiving target at the position. After landing the former Duke commit, USC's class features eight ESPN 300 prospects.

Ole Miss also saw a move up in the rankings with a pair of additions. The Rebels landed ESPN Junior College 50 QB Chad Kelly, a player who is physically gifted enough to be a strong candidate to replace QB Bo Wallace, a one-time junior college transfer himself. Ole Miss, who not sits at No. 17, also landed ESPN 300 OT Michael Howard. He is a lean OL prospect that needs to fill out, but is an athletic and tenacious player and with development could end up being a real strong pick-up out of Florida for the Rebels.

Inside the rankings

Coach Art Briles has had two very distinct luxuries when it comes to recruiting in today's complicated landscape -- recruiting in the shadows and recruiting without pressure. Both are actually in many ways, one in the same. As Briles has built this program, he's been able to do it his way without public pressure or booster interference because early on, nobody thought it could be done and nobody cared.

This staff was able to go after who they wanted, on their own timetable and without much scrutiny. In today's recruiting world, that's a huge luxury. Players like Levi Norwood, Antwan Goodley or Tevin Reese, who was a late qualifier, were all bypassed by other Power 5 programs, but nobody even noticed Baylor signed them or griped, "who are these guys" on signing day.

As a result, prospects like these were brought along at a normal pace and developed properly by the coaching staff. Redshirting the bulk of the classes for the first few years has also been huge for the Bears. The challenge going forward will be dealing with increased program exposure and expectation level which almost always brings with it increased recruiting scrutiny from boosters and fans alike. But the Bears don??t need to change a thing.

To see the full class rankings, click here.

WeAreSC chat, 2 p.m. PT

December, 17, 2014
Dec 17
On Wednesday, WeAreSC reporter Garry Paskwietz will be chatting about USC Trojans football. Paskwietz is the publisher of WeAreSC and has been covering the Trojans since 1997. Send your questions now and join Paskwietz every Wednesday at 2 p.m. PT.

USC Trojans recruiting notes

December, 16, 2014
Dec 16
Ronald Jones: The talented running back from Texas recently de-committed from Oklahoma State following an official visit to Notre Dame. Jones had also taken an official visit to USC the previous week. It's unclear at this point if Jones is favoring the Irish or the Trojans, so it could be shaping up as an old-fashioned recruiting battle between the two schools. Jones is certainly a prized target, the 6-foot, 185-pound speedster is ranked as the No. 56 player in the ESPN 300 and the No. 5 running back overall. USC already has verbal commitments from a pair of tailbacks in Aca'Cedric Ware and Dominic Davis, although Davis is expected to also see time as a slot receiver. Jones would provide a gliding, natural runner at the position, one who also brings a lot of explosive ability.

State Bowl matchups are set: There will be several USC prospects taking part in state bowl games this weekend. On Saturday, USC verbal commit tight end Tyler Petite will lead Campolindo in the California Division 3 game against El Capitan. A pair of 2016 players with Trojan offers, De La Salle tight end Devin Asiasi and Centennial wide receiver Javon McKinley, will face off in the Open Division game to cap off the trio of Saturday games at the Stub Hub Center. McKinley received his USC offer last weekend during a campus visit. Ware will lead his Cedar Hill team in the Texas 6A Division 2 state title game against Katy. Cedar Hill won the 5A Division 2 state title last year with a victory over Katy. USC has also offered Cedar Hill wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge.

Familiar name: With a father (John) and two uncles (Norm and Kurt) who played for the Trojans, along with a mother who graduated from USC and two brothers who currently attend the school, it shouldn’t have come as much surprise when St. John Bosco offensive lineman Matt Katnik gave a verbal commitment to USC this week. The surprise comes when Katnik -- who played on the state title team for Bosco in 2013 and was a key senior this year -- will come to USC on a track scholarship rather than the gridiron. Katnik competes in the shot put, where he is one of the leading athletes in the nation. He also carries a 4.4 GPA, and was recently awarded the Jim Staunton Champions for Character Award by the CIF-SS.
USC concluded the second week of National University Holiday Bowl practices this past Sunday, and with the Trojans now set to transition into planning mode for Nebraska, here is a look at five things that stood out from those initial six sessions.

No lack of enthusiasm

Carrying the momentum over from the big 49-14 victory over rival Notre Dame, the entire Trojans' team was incredibly upbeat throughout the first two weeks of practice. Never was this more evident than during last Friday's session. The rain was pouring and it was cold, but that didn't seem to bother any of the players. In fact, they seemed to feed off the unusual Southern California weather, with a number of Trojans sliding on the turf, and freshman wide receiver JuJu Smith kicking practice off with an impromptu dance in the middle of Cromwell Field.

That kind of scene is a testament to the closeness of this year's USC squad, as well as to its leadership, and it reflects a general mood that stands in stark contrast to how things were at this point last year, when the team was reeling following the emotional departure of Ed Orgeron.

Let's get physical

With USC coach Steve Sarkisian and staff having not yet installed any elements of the game plan for the bowl, the name of the game throughout the first six workouts was competition, and it resulted in some of the most physical practices of the fall. Each session featured a heavy dose of 11-on-11 work marked by impassioned effort, as well as a number of big hits.

This past weekend, however, that physicality might have caught up with the Trojans as a number of players went to the sideline with injuries, although all indications point toward none of those being serious.

Youngsters make noise

Heading into the opening bowl workouts Sarkisian emphasized just how important these practices were going to be in regard to the development of the younger players on the team, and it's safe to say that those less experienced members received plenty of chances to show what they were made of.

Taking advantage of the increased opportunity, in particular, was a quartet of freshmen in cornerbacks Rahshead Johnson and Lamont Simmons, defensive lineman Malik Dorton and offensive lineman Chris Brown -- all of whom were singled out by Sarkisian at varying points in time for their play.

Another player who drew praise from the USC head coach was redshirt freshman quarterback Max Browne, who took some limited reps with the No. 1 offense.

JuJu vs. Adoree'

Speaking of younger players, Smith and cornerback/receiver Adoree' Jackson have played more like seasoned veterans this fall than the true freshmen that they are, and it was their head-to-head battles during the early bowl practices that quickly developed into one of the overwhelming highlights each day.

Smith and Jackson -- who was recently named Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year -- have gone toe-to-toe plenty this season, but the competition between the two seemed to reach a new level over the past two weeks, and even Sarkisian brought it up on more than one occasion. Lining up opposite each other throughout what seemed like a majority of each practice session, from the early one-on-one drills, to 7-on-7s and on into the 11-on-11 periods, both traded one big play after another, with each refusing to back down even for a second.

Uniquely talented and competitive players, it's going to be fun to watch both Smith and Jackson develop over the next few years. And with each of them there to continue pushing one another, there is little doubt that they're only going to get better and better.

Hawkins makes a move

The surprise of the early bowl game practices took place on Day 1, when, with Leon McQuay III sidelined, second-year freshman Chris Hawkins made a surprise switch from his normal cornerback position to safety. He remained there until this past Sunday when an ankle injury to Kevon Seymour forced Hawkins to slide back to the outside.

While at safety, Hawkins looked remarkably comfortable at the spot considering he hadn't lined up there since early in his high school career, and he came up with a highlight-reel pick-six in just his second day at the position. With the team lacking depth there, coupled with the fact he lost his starting spot at cornerback to Jackson early on this season, it potentially looks like a good move all-around.

It remains to be seen if Hawkins will remain at safety in the long-term, but both he and Sarkisian appear to be open to the possibility. The Trojans' head coach said that if they do decide to keep Hawkins at the position, a big emphasis this offseason will be placed on having him bulk up.

Katz: Top 5 favorite bowl appearances

December, 15, 2014
Dec 15
LOS ANGELES -- When it comes to bowl games, few universities have done it better and with more flair and dramatics than the USC Trojans. Come Dec. 27 in San Diego’s 37th National University Holiday Bowl, the Trojans break new ground in a bowl game they’ve have never been a participant.

The Trojans own an impressive bowl record, having the nation’s fourth highest winning percentage (.667) among the 83 schools that have made at least 10 bowl appearances. USC has 32 bowl victories behind Alabama’s 34.

For the record, the Trojans will be appearing in their 14th different bowl game, having also appeared in the Rose, Orange, Sun, Liberty, Bluebonnet, Fiesta, Aloha, Florida Citrus, John Hancock, Freedom, Cotton, Las Vegas, Emerald, and the overlooked Christmas Festival of 1924 against Missouri in the Coliseum.

Obviously, the Trojans have appeared in the Rose Bowl the most number of times (32) and have long considered Pasadena’s Granddaddy as an addendum to their regular season. Since the Trojans began playing in postseason bowl games in 1923, the Rose Bowl against Penn State, lifetime memories for players, coaches, and fans have come in abundance.

Everybody has his or her top 5 Trojans bowl games, so here is our in-person, personal favorites -- win or lose:

5. 2006 Rose Bowl (USC vs. Texas): Probably the most devastating loss in USC bowl history, but also one of the greatest college football bowl games ever played. Although the final score was a wild and dramatic Texas victory, culminating with UT quarterback Vince Young’s eight-yard scoring dash on 4th-and-five with 19 seconds left to play, there were so many highs and lows for both sides that the game almost defied description.
Final score: Texas 41, USC 38

4. 1973 Rose Bowl (USC vs. Ohio State): Historically, the 1972 team of USC coach John McKay is arguably the greatest college football team of all-time. Who better to present your case as the greatest-ever than against the highly respected Buckeyes of Ohio State, and its legendary coach Woody Hayes? McKay’s Trojans had it all on both sides of the ball, and the game will forever be remembered for the four diving touchdowns by storied USC fullback Sam “Bam” Cunningham into the Buckeyes' end zone. Hayes later said the 1972 Trojans were the best team he had ever seen.
Final Score: USC 42, Ohio State 17.

3. 2005 Orange Bowl (USC vs. Oklahoma): Using the season long motto “Leave No Doubt" this game was the Pete Carroll era at its zenith. The Sooners scored on their opening drive but the Trojans looked like an NFL team after that, and didn’t take long for Sooners fans to know this was a mismatch. The 2004 Trojans names are legendary: Leinart, White, Bush, Tatupu, Cody, Jarrett, Smith, Grootegoed, and on and on. When the annihilation was heading into the final quarter, Sooners fans were departing like in the midst of the great dust bowl. The BCS title game was more than a championship; it was a coronation of the Carroll gridiron monstrosity.
Final Score: USC 55, Oklahoma 19.

2. 1963 Rose Bowl (USC vs. Wisconsin): Lasting memories of a great Trojans insurmountable Trojans 42-14 fourth quester nearly evaporated, as the Badgers and white-hot quarterback Ron VanderKelen turned the fourth quarter into an almost Nightmare on Elm Street for the Trojans defense. Even worse, there were no lights at the Rose Bowl and darkness during the fourth quarter was eating up whatever light there was from sunset. You don’t forget the drama, the chilling weather, and the Arroyo Seco darkness.
Final score: USC 42, Wisconsin 37.

1. 1975 Rose Bowl (USC vs. Ohio State): Without question, the most brutal and physically demanding game of the aforementioned bowl memories. I won’t soon forget Trojans All-America guard Bill Bain physically attacking the Buckeyes defensive front. The fourth quarter was Ali vs Frazier. The physicality of both teams was simply stunning. It all came down to the final minutes, and one of the greatest Rose Bowl endings ever. Trojans quarterback Pat Haden threw a 38-yard TD strike to receiver J.K. McKay with just 2:03 remaining in this classic slugfest. To top off the drama, after the Haden-to-McKay heroics, John McKay elected to go for two-point conversion. Haden was rushed on the two-point conversion attempt and threw an off-balance completion to receiver Shelton Diggs for the winning tally. Watching Woody Hayes head back up the Rose Bowl visitor’s tunnel, if looks could kill, Hayes will have been sentenced to life.
Final score: USC 18, Ohio State 17

ESPN 300 TE Tyler Petite flips to USC 

December, 12, 2014
Dec 12
USC coach Steve Sarkisian secured a verbal commitment at a key position on Friday when ESPN 300 tight end Tyler Petite flipped his commitment from Duke to the Trojans.


USC Trojans weekend recruiting visits 

December, 10, 2014
Dec 10
After two big recruiting weekends in a row, the USC Trojans are set to host yet another strong collection of Class of 2015 official visitors this coming Friday through Sunday. And while there is a good chance some more names will be added to the list in the next couple days, here are the three prospects we’re hearing will make the trip at this point:

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WeAreSC chat, 2 p.m. PT

December, 10, 2014
Dec 10
On Wednesday, WeAreSC reporter Garry Paskwietz will be chatting about USC Trojans football. Paskwietz is the publisher of WeAreSC and has been covering the Trojans since 1997. Send your questions now and join Paskwietz every Wednesday at 2 p.m. PT.
If the Trojans want an example of how the Nebraska Cornhuskers might react after losing a popular head coach, they only need to look back one year earlier at their own performance in the Las Vegas Bowl to see what can happen.

From the outside looking in, it's hard to know if the response to the firing of Bo Pelini at Nebraska was as emotional as it was for the USC players when Ed Orgeron was let go, but it sure sounds like both teams took the news in similar fashion. Like Orgeron, Pelini was a hard-nosed defensive coach who was beloved by his players and had plenty of support from within the Nebraska community, along with a string of nine-win seasons. In the end, however, it wasn't enough as Pelini was shown the door and the Huskers will be led in the bowl game by interim coach Barney Cotton.

The interim tag didn't seem to bother Clay Helton and the 2013 Trojans in their bowl efforts, despite widespread concerns about how prepared the Trojans would be for the game against Fresno State. It wasn't a question out of left field either, the USC players were raw after the Orgeron departure and there was simply no way to know how they would get up for a football game just a few short weeks later. Those questions were obviously squashed once the game got started and the Trojans eventually rolled to a dominant victory.

Another similarity between the two situations is that the Cornhuskers will be preparing for the game under the watchful eye of their future coach, Mike Riley, a former offensive minded Pac-12 head coach just like Steve Sarkisian was when he played the role of observer for the Trojans' bowl efforts last year before taking over the full-time job. Under the old adage of "you only get one chance to make a first impression," you can be sure the Nebraska players will be aware of Riley's presence as they get ready to prepare for the Trojans.

USC linebacker Hayes Pullard has been selected to play in the Senior Bowl in January, a prestigious pre-draft game where the practices are filled with NFL coaches and execs. It's a nice honor for Pullard, and one that will allow him a chance to show his intangibles to the league personnel in that extended setting, something that should be a benefit as he makes the transition to the next level.

Pullard is a four-year starter who will likely end up leading the team in tackles for three seasons.

There has been no confirmed updates on the NFL early entry draft status of players like Leonard Williams, Nelson Agholor, Buck Allen or Cody Kessler but the news that center Max Tuerk will return was a huge bonus for the Trojans' 2014 prospects.

Tuerk made the transition to center this season after playing both tackle and guard earlier in his USC career, and he was named first-team All-Conference, so it's easy to imagine what is possible for him by coming back for a second season to refine his technique at the position. It's not a stretch to think Tuerk could be up for national linemen awards, as well as setting himself up for a potential high-round NFL selection in 2016.

The return of Tuerk also means the Trojans will not have to find a new center next season. There was no obvious choice being groomed behind Tuerk in 2014, so USC would have been faced with the possibility of moving a player such as Toa Lobendahn or going with a true freshman in Cole Smith. With the news of Tuerk coming back, it will give Sarkisian the luxury of not needing to move another player, and also giving the opportunity to redshirt Smith while allowing him to learn under the veteran Tuerk.

Former USC offensive lineman Tony Boselli will be presented as a member of the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday night at a banquet to held in New York.

Boselli, who played for the Trojans from 1991-94, is one of 14 players and two coaches who make up the 2014 class. He is the 30th USC player to be elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.

A two-time All-American and 1994 USC team captain, Boselli led the Trojans to three bowl games and was also a three-time academic all-conference honoree.

The Trojans held practices last weekend prior to the bowl announcement and one position switch could bear watching as Chris Hawkins got a look at safety in all three sessions.

Hawkins is a redshirt freshman who came in as a corner and saw action in 11 games this year, including 32 tackles (29 solo) and one interception. A look at the USC depth chart for the future, however, shows a lot of corners and not enough safeties so there figured to be some player movement at some point to address the issue. Hawkins says he is fine with the move if the coaches want to continue putting him there, so it will be something to monitor as USC continues to move through the bowl practice sessions.
LOS ANGELES -- It's appropriate that the National University Holiday Bowl has invited the Trojans to make their first San Diego bowl appearance against the Nebraska Cornhuskers on the evening of Dec. 27 at Qualcomm Stadium.

Considering all the great players that San Diego County has provided the Trojans' football program over the many decades, it's about time the Cardinal and Gold travel south down the 405 Freeway and say a gridiron thank you.

A number of former San Diego County schoolboy heroes are not just players who contributed to the storied USC Trojans football program but are big-time players whose names are synonymous with college football greatness.

Certainly names such as legendary Heisman Trophy winning tailback Marcus Allen (San Diego Lincoln) and the incomparable late linebacker Junior Seau (Oceanside) lived up to those high standards, both having been named All-Americans.

In an ironic twist of fate to the Trojans' first Holiday Bowl appearance, neither a current USC starter nor scholarship backup will be in the starting lineup on Dec. 27, but that doesn't take away what San Diego County has done for the Men of Troy.

In honor of those schoolboy stars that originated from San Diego County high schools, we present our all-time All-San Diego County USC offense, defense and special teams. The years noted are the lettermen seasons they played at Troy.

QB: Irvine "Cotton" Warburton (San Diego/1932-34)
Sean Salisbury (Vista Orange Glen/1982-85)
FB: C.R. Roberts (Carlsbad/1955-56)
TB: Marcus Allen (San Diego Lincoln/1979-81)
Steven Webster (La Mesa Helix/1985-88)
Reggie Bush (La Mesa Helix/2003-05)
WR: William Buchanon (Oceanside/2002-05)
WR/TB: Michael Hayes (San Diego/1977-79)
TE: John Allred (Torrey Pines/1993-96)
William Gay (San Diego Hoover/1975-77)
OL: Steve Riley (Chula Vista Castle Park/1972-73)
OL: Pete Adams (San Diego University/1970-72)
OL: John Michael (La Jolla/1994-95)
OL: Tom Dabasinskas (Escondido/1987-89)
OL: Travis Watkins (La Mesa Helix/2002-04)

DL: Darrell Russell (San Diego St. Augustine/1994-96)
DL: Lonnie Ford (San Diego Morse/1998-2001)
DL: Harold Steele (San Diego Lincoln/1975-76)
LB: Zeke Moreno (Chula Vista Castle Park/1997-2000)
LB: Jimmy Gunn (San Diego Lincoln (1967-69)
LB: Junior Seau (Oceanside/1988-89)
LB: David Lewis (San Diego Lincoln/1974-76)
LB: Greg Slough (Point Loma/1969-70)
DB: Nate Shaw (San Diego Lincoln/1964-66)
DB: Richard Cook (San Diego Morse/1995-98)
DB: Bill Jaroncyk (Encinitas San Dieguito/1966-67)
SS: Marcus Hopkins (San Diego Lincoln/1988-90)
PK: Adam Abrams (San Diego Bishop's/1995-98)
ST: Reggie Bush (La Mesa Helix/2003-05)
USC athletic director Pat Haden addressed rumors about him potentially stepping down from his job in his monthly “State of Troy” posting on the Trojans athletic website.

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WeAreSC roundtable: USC bowl projection 

December, 4, 2014
Dec 4
1. Give your biggest takeaway from the Trojans dominating win over Notre Dame.

Garry Paskwietz: To me it was the way the team responded to what happened the previous week against UCLA. There’s no doubt the loss to the Bruins had a different feel to it so for the Trojans to turn around and put together their most complete game of the season against their other traditional rival was a big statement for Steve Sarkisian and his program. The Irish may not have been at their best but the Trojans will make no apologies based on the realities of their own roster numbers either.

Johnny Curren: I was impressed with the way that USC finally put together a complete game. This team had developed a bad habit of starting out hot, but never finishing strong, and as everyone saw, it came back to bite them on a number of occasions. Hopefully they’ve put that trend behind them with their latest performance, and they’re able to put together another solid four quarters of play in the bowl game so they have that momentum going into 2015.

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WeAreSC chat, 2 p.m. PT

December, 3, 2014
Dec 3
On Wednesday, WeAreSC reporter Garry Paskwietz will be chatting about USC Trojans football. Paskwietz is the publisher of WeAreSC and has been covering the Trojans since 1997. Send your questions now and join Paskwietz every Wednesday at 2 p.m. PT.
The Trojans are set to kick off their bowl game practices this Friday, and as USC head coach Steve Sarkisian pointed out on his Sunday night media call, a big emphasis during the early portion of those workouts will be placed on the development of the team's younger players with an eye toward the future.

With that in mind, here are five intriguing freshmen to watch during those upcoming practice sessions:

1. TE Bryce Dixon
While it's safe to say Dixon has had a fairly successful freshman season, hauling in 10 passes for 154 yards and three touchdowns, he's shown the potential to do much more. A tall, fluid athlete, he possesses unique skills as a pass-catching tight end. Throw in the fact that Randall Telfer is gone after this season, and there is certainly an opportunity for him to take on a larger role in 2015, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see the coaches push him during the bowl practices to ensure he's ready.

2. WR Ajene Harris
Harris was one of the surprises of fall camp, asserting himself as a very capable option at the slot receiver spot. He was even listed as a starter on the first depth chart that was released. Once the season started, however, the Los Angeles Crenshaw product got lost in the shuffle, and then just when he was re-emerging and earned a start against Oregon State, he suffered a hamstring injury that forced him to miss a bulk of the last half of the season. Now appearing to be close to 100 percent again, he should get plenty of reps so he can remind everybody what kind of player he is.

3. CB Jonathan Lockett
Lockett first began turning heads in the summer during volunteer throwing sessions, and he's continued to perform solidly in practice throughout the fall, while playing in a reserve role at times in games. An outstanding athlete with good cover skills, he's certainly someone who could develop into a real contributor down the line at USC, and the more work he gets, the better he'll be in the long run.

4. LB Uchenna Nwosu
Nwosu plays with a brand of aggression that makes him stand out in practice, and he's already made an impact on special teams. A reserve at Sam linebacker, he's also shown a knack for being around the ball in workouts, and once he adds some more weight to his 6-foot-3 frame, he could wind up being quite a player.

5. QB Jalen Greene
Perhaps no player made greater strides last spring than Greene. Bringing a much different skill set to the quarterback position as a dual-threat passer, he worked tirelessly with Clay Helton to refine his mechanics. Having spent this season running the scout team offense, it will be interesting to see how he performs if he does, in fact, get more reps during these upcoming practices. With Max Browne serving as Cody Kessler's backup ahead of him, and Ricky Town and Sam Darnold coming in, Greene seems like the forgotten man at times, but could he ultimately be the Trojans' quarterback of the long-term future? Perhaps we'll get a better read on that topic in the coming days.
1. USC cornerback Adoree' Jackson being named the Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year is a very deserving honor.

Jackson made an immediate impact for the Trojans and gained attention for the job he did in just his second game while covering Stanford senior Ty Montgomery. With a unique combination of athleticism and technique beyond his years, Jackson quickly became the team's top cover corner and he finished the regular season with 42 tackles (38 solo), four tackles for loss, nine pass break-ups and a forced fumble. Jackson also contributed on offense with seven catches and a pair of touchdowns, and ranked No. 4 in the nation in kickoff returns with a 27.7-yard average.

Adoree' left the Notre Dame game last weekend with concussion symptoms, according to USC coach Steve Sarkisian, and he will be monitored this week by medical personnel in an effort to return for bowl practices.

"The good news is that we don't play a game next weekend so there's not a need to rush him back," Sarkisian said. "We'll find our way through it this week and make sure he is in great health and ready to go."

2. The Trojans will resume practices on Friday and over the weekend, even though they do not know which bowl they will play in or the opponent.

Sarkisian said they will be unable to install any game plan elements in these practices without knowing who they are playing, but there will still be a benefit to developing some of the younger players.

"The first half of bowl practices are usually dedicated to younger guys anyways," Sarkisian said. "It's a chance to work with those guys to develop them more, to put them in situations that maybe we didn't get a chance to during the season when they were on the service team. Even some of the guys who played a lot, they are still freshmen, so it will help them to get the extra work as well. Once we get into the second half of bowl practices we will start to work more on a specific game plan to put our players in the best position to be successful."

3. Sarkisian and his staff are using this week to concentrate on recruiting.

The Trojans will make several in-person visits during the first week of the NCAA contact period, including stops to check in with DL Rasheem Green, LB’s John Houston and Osa Masina, DB’s Iman Marshall, DeChaun Holiday and Ykili Ross, TE Chris Clark and junior college WR Isaac Whitney.

USC will also host an impressive group of official visitors on campus this weekend with QB Ricky Town and LB Cameron Smith, who have already signed financial aid papers with USC and will be spring enrollees, along with WR Christian Kirk and athlete Terry Godwin. It's unclear at this point if LB/DE Porter Gustin will be making an official visit or not, he was at USC last weekend on an unofficial visit.



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