USC Trojans: Chris Galippo

Ultimate ESPN 300: The underachievers 

January, 29, 2014
Jan 29
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The Ultimate ESPN 300 is RecruitingNation's ranking of the best prospects since we began evaluating high school athletes in 2006. Here's a look at five players who underachieved:

Multiple top 10 recruits no guarantee 

June, 21, 2013
6/21/13
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As Michigan looks to add to a No. 1 recruiting class Insider that already includes No. 2 Jabrill Peppers, we look back at other schools that landed multiple top 10 recruits fared in those players' tenures. While Alabama hit a home run in 2009 -- landing future first-round picks Dre Kirkpatrick and Trent Richardson -- others have seen mixed results.

[+] EnlargeJoe McKnight
Stephen Dunn/Getty ImagesJoe McKnight never quite reached the lofty expectations placed on him as the No. 1 recruit in USC's stacked 2006 class.
2006

USC Trojans
Vidal Hazelton (No. 3 recruit) Taylor Mays (8), Antwine Perez (10)
The trio signed with a USC program that was coming off back-to-back BCS title game appearances, but their reality ended up being a pair of transfers and a final game for Mays in the Emerald Bowl. Perez played sparingly as a true freshman and then transferred to Maryland. Hazelton was the leading receiver for the Trojans in his sophomore year with 50 catches but transferred to Cincinnati after his junior year. Mays stayed all four years and earned All-American status before being drafted in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft by the 49ers. -- Garry Paskwietz


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Cal's Maynard is a lot better than before

September, 19, 2012
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LOS ANGELES -- After USC beat Cal 30-9 last year in San Francisco, former Trojans linebacker Chris Galippo memorably said that Bears quarterback Zach Maynard "just telegraphed the heck out of his passes" while throwing three interceptions and playing generally poor football.

Well, he's not telegraphing them anymore.

Maynard, a left-handed senior, has demonstrated significant improvement through three games this season, completing 67 percent of his passes as compared to 57 percent last year and improving his quarterback rating roughly 20 percent. He has thrown only two picks in 90 attempts after throwing those three in just 43 attempts against the Trojans last year.

USC linebacker Dion Bailey, who had two of those picks in 2011 in a breakout game, said this week that Maynard is no longer the easy-to-read signal-caller he once was.

"He's a completely different quarterback," Bailey said Wednesday after reviewing tape from Cal's nonconference games. "He's more composed, seems like he's got a year more mature, a year better in his accuracy and decision-making."

Cal coach Jeff Tedford, who recruited Maynard out of Buffalo after he started there in 2009, has been similarly impressed. Maynard did nearly lead the Bears to a road victory over Ohio State last weekend and completed 70 percent of his passes in the process, with only one interception in 37 attempts.

"He's really grown," Tedford said on a conference call Tuesday. "Last year, early in the year, we struggled a little bit with just management of the game and turning the football over and speed of the game."

Tedford said Maynard started to improve in the latter half of last season -- his final two regular-season games were his top two of the year. And he has carried that over into 2012.

He'll need to carry it over to the Coliseum on Saturday for Cal to upset USC, who are once again heavy favorites despite losing to Stanford last week.

"He just continues to grow each week and I think he's more comfortable with the offense, comfortable with the speed of the game and protecting the football," Tedford said of Maynard. "He needs to continue to do that against a very athletic, tough USC defense."

USC spring wrap

May, 14, 2012
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2011 overall record: 10-2
2011 conference record: 7-2 (1st, South)
Returning starters: Offense: 9; defense: 8; kicker/punter: 2

Top returners
QB Matt Barkley, S T.J. McDonald, OL Khaled Holmes, WR Robert Woods, WR Marqise Lee, RB Curtis McNeal, DL Devon Kennard, DL Wes Horton, CB Nickell Robey, LB Dion Bailey, LB Hayes Pullard, K Andre Heidari

Key losses
OL Matt Kalil, DL Nick Perry, FB Rhett Ellison, DL DaJohn Harris, DL Christian Tupou, LB Chris Galippo, RB Marc Tyler, WR Brandon Carswell, LS Chris Pousson

2011 statistical leaders (*returners)
Rushing: Curtis McNeal* (1,005 yards)
Passing: Matt Barkley* (3,528 yards)
Receiving: Robert Woods* (1,292 yards)
Tackles: Dion Bailey*, Hayes Pullard* (81)
Sacks: Nick Perry (9.5)
Interceptions: T.J. McDonald* (3)

Spring answers

1. Marqise Lee is ready for prime time: It’s no secret that Lee is a talented player who put together a terrific freshman season, but he took that performance to an even higher level this spring when he was the best player on the field for the Trojans. We’re seeing a rare athlete in Lee, one whose acrobatic style is being compared to Lynn Swann.

2. The USC defense is worthy of mention: There is so much attention paid to Matt Barkley and his offensive weapons -- and deservedly so -- but this spring was a reminder that the Trojans defense is going to be pretty good too. The back seven will be a strength, as the starters return intact plus there is a nice supply of talented depth.

3. The future of the USC quarterback spot is in good hands: Spring was an extended audition for Max Wittek and Cody Kessler, as Barkley was limited in his reps. Both players had their moments as they look to settle into the No. 2 role and the inside track to be Barkley’s heir apparent. The Trojans also got a verbal commitment from Max Browne (No. 2 rated pocket passer in ESPN 150), who will enroll next spring.

Fall questions

1. Interior of the D-line: One of the keys of spring was replacing two senior starters from the middle of the line. George Uko stepped in at defensive tackle and had flashes of real solid play. After Uko, however, things are not so clear. There is no established backup for him and no set starter at nose tackle, as J.R. Tavai and Antwaun Woods continue to battle for the job.

2. Lack of depth at tailback: The Trojans have a returning 1,000-yard rusher in Curtis McNeal but not a lot of experience behind him. D.J. Morgan had 42 carries in 2011, Buck Allen redshirted last season and Nelson Agholor has yet to join the team. That’s the extent of the playing time for the 2012 USC reserve tailbacks.

3. Protecting the blind side: There wasn’t a ton of worry last year about left tackle with Matt Kalil but replacing him has not been easy. Kevin Graf got the first look, but then the coaches moved Aundrey Walker into the spot. Lane Kiffin said Walker was not consistent but he showed enough with the potential of the size benefits he brings that he will stay as the starter heading into fall camp.

USC free agent signings

April, 29, 2012
4/29/12
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VThe 2012 NFL draft is complete and several undrafted USC players have signed free agent contracts:

RB Marc Tyler (Green Bay Packers)

WR Brandon Carswell (Oakland Raiders)

DT Christian Tupou (San Diego Chargers)

LS Chris Pousson (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

DT DaJohn Harris (Tennessee Titans)

LB Chris Galippo (Indianapolis Colts)

Recap of Trojans in NFL draft

April, 28, 2012
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After seeing Matt Kalil and Nick Perry go off the board quickly in the first round of the NFL draft, USC fans waited until fullback Rhett Ellison was chosen by the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth round (No. 128 overall) to see another former Trojans player selected.

That was it for former USC players in this draft and, although several players have and will be signing free agent contracts, the total of three overall picks reflects the fewest number of USC players selected in a draft since 2002.

Whether that reality is a comment on recruiting, a coaching transition or a program under sanctions, the fact is that there were nine players who were eligible to be drafted this year that came to USC ranked as one of the top five players at their position. Only one, Kalil, was selected in the draft.

That mark should certainly change next year when Trojans are likely to dominate the draft boards, particularly with seniors such as Matt Barkley, T.J. McDonald and Khaled Holmes.

The good news is that USC continues to lead the nation when it comes to total number of draftees (476) and first round selections (77).

Kalil became the 22nd offensive lineman to be drafted in the first round from USC since 1968, an average of one every other year. He is the third member of his family to be selected in the draft -- father Frank by the Bills and brother Ryan by the Panthers -- while he is also the third USC offensive tackle to be a first-round choice of the Vikings (Ron Yary, 1968 and Steve Riley, 1974).

Ellison certainly has some NFL connections of his own as his father, Riki, was a fifth-round pick of the San Francisco 49’ers and won two Super Bowls during his playing career.

Kalil and Ellison were one of three sets of college teammates who were chosen by the Vikings in the draft (Harrison Smith and Robert Blanton from Notre Dame and Jarius Wright and Greg Childs from Arkansas).

Perry will have some USC familiarity when he heads to Green Bay as he will be lined up opposite Clay Matthews, who was a senior in 2008 when Perry redshirted for the Trojans.

Perry was known as a defensive end in high school and college, but the Packers are planning to use him as an outside linebacker to apply some much needed pass rush help for the defense.

There were also several early free agent signings for USC players on Saturday:

RB Marc Tyler -- Green Bay Packers

WR Brandon Carswell -- Oakland Raiders

LB Chris Galippo -- Indianapolis Colts

WeAreSC Roundtable 

April, 26, 2012
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Rhett EllisonAP Photo/Mark J. TerrillIt doesn't matter where an NFL team decides to put him -- the WeAreSC panel sees good things at the next level for fullback/tight end Rhett Ellison.

“This year’s draft class for USC has Matt Kalil and Nick Perry going early but a lot of uncertainty after that. Give your thoughts on three draft eligible players -- outside of Kalil and Perry -- who will have the best chance of sticking with a team, either through the draft or free agency.”

Garry Paskwietz

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The USC Trojans were a young team in 2011, but several upperclassmen made their marks on a 10-2 season and will now have an opportunity to do it again at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Seven draft-eligible former Trojans will take part in the event, which begins Feb. 22 in Indianapolis.

The players are offensive tackle Matt Kalil, defensive end Nick Perry, tailback Marc Tyler, tight end/fullback Rhett Ellison, linebacker Chris Galippo and defensive tackles DaJohn Harris and Christian Tupou.

The events each player will participate in at the combine is yet to be determined, as some may wait to take part in events -- such as the 40-yard dash or three-cone drill -- at USC's Pro Day, which is scheduled for March 7.

USC seniors to watch in all-star games 

January, 20, 2012
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USC DefenseJayne Kamin-Oncea/US PresswireUSC defensive tackle DaJohn Harris has turned heads this week at East-West Shrine Bowl practices, moving himself up into second-round consideration in April's NFL draft.

Four USC seniors will wear the Cardinal and Gold on their helmets one last time on Saturday in their last attempt to showcase their skills on the field before April’s NFL draft.

East-West Shrine Game -- 1 p.m. Saturday, Orlando, Fla.

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Linebacker Speed 

November, 13, 2011
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This game offered the first real glimpse of why the coaches made the move of putting Lamar Dawson into the starting line-up. This is the most overall speed at linebacker for USC in years. Dawson showed tremendous sideline-to-sideline speed in the opening part of the game and played a big role in preventing Chris Polk from getting off to a fast start.

The linebacker unit as a whole showed a lot of athleticism, and this was on a day when Dion Bailey was clearly still impacted by the effects of his recent concussion. Bailey – the leading tackler for the Trojans – only had two tackles in the game. Hayes Pullard was steady with seven tackles while Dawson added three tackles along with a sack.

One of the reasons the coaches made the switch to Dawson was for the test that is upcoming next week in Oregon. One element you will need on defense against them is speed, and this starting group gives USC the best chance for success.

Let’s also give credit in the Washington game to Chris Galippo and Shane Horton - two seniors who are playing behind the freshmen in reserve roles yet showed tremendous emotion and energy when they were on the field for defense or special teams. Horton had four tackles and Galippo added two of his own.

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Storylines from Tuesday practice 

November, 8, 2011
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Chris Galippo had the hit of the day when he filled a gap on the final play of a 9 on 7 drill. The play brought Galippo a "shoulder bump" congratulations as he headed to the next drill from both Joe Barry and Pat Haden.

Ross Cumming had a real nice one-handed grab over the middle.

Marcus Martin showed off his dancing moves in the huddle as the music was playing over the loudspeaker.

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