- Garry Paskwietz, Publisher, WeAreSC.com
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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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