USC Trojans: Scottie Hazelton

Exit Interview: Tony Burnett

February, 15, 2013
Tony BurnettRic Tapia/Icon SMITony Burnett became a versatile contributor on defense and special teams for the Trojans.

Of all the seniors on the 2012 Trojans football team, no one took a more unique path into the program than Tony Burnett. Originally entering USC as a track and field athlete from nearby Los Angeles (Calif.) Southwest College in 2009, it wasn't until a chance meeting with Ed Orgeron one day in Heritage Hall that he decided to give football a shot.

Enjoying a breakout 10-tackle performance at safety against Notre Dame in 2010 -- his first season as a member of the team -- Burnett would develop into a major contributor on defense and special teams in his time on campus. Ultimately rewarded with a scholarship by coach Lane Kiffin, he showed tremendous versatility, moving over to cornerback in 2011, and then to linebacker this past season.

Now hoping for a shot at the NFL, Burnett took time out of his busy training schedule to talk to WeAreSC about his thoughts on his career at USC, as well as what's on tap for the future.

WeAreSC: First off, where do you stand in terms of graduation?

Burnett: I'm taking one last biology class. It's a spring-only class, but then I'll have a B.A. in Human Performance from USC.

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Here's the official USC press release on the hiring of Hazelton and Sanders:


LOS ANGELES¬-Marvin Sanders and Scottie Hazelton, who both have served as defensive coordinators at previous coaching stops, have been named assistant football coaches at USC, Trojans head coach Lane Kiffin announced on Thursday.

Sanders will be USC’s secondary coach, while Hazelton will coach the Trojans linebackers.

“We are delighted to add Marvin and Scottie to the Trojan Family,” said Kiffin. “Both not only have made their marks while coaching their respective positions, but both have been collegiate defensive coordinators and that should help us tremendously.

“Marvin had great success coaching the defensive backs at Nebraska and we believe that will translate well to our secondary, which is the most critical area we need to improve upon in 2012. Scottie is coming to us after helping North Dakota State win the NCAA FCS championship and coordinating a defense that led the nation in scoring defense in 2011, after it was 90th in that category before he took it over just 2 years ago.”

Kiffin expects to announce another assistant coach hiring soon.

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Kiffin looking to finalize staff 

February, 13, 2012
Sammy Knight works with Isiah WileyGarry Paskwietz/WeAreSC.comDespite doing an admirable job as an interim DB coach this past season, Sammy Knight was not given the full-time job by Trojans coach Lane Kiffin.

With less than a month to go before the opening of the 2012 spring practice session, USC head coach Lane Kiffin has said that one of his priorities is to have his coaching staff finalized before the end of this week.

Kiffin needed to fill three spots on his staff following the recent NFL departures of linebackers coach Joe Barry (San Diego Chargers) and wide receivers coach Ted Gilmore (Oakland Raiders). Defensive backs coach Sammy Knight -- who had served in that role as a graduate assistant in 2011 -- was not expected to be invited back in a full-time position.

Report: Trojans hire pair of coaches 

February, 12, 2012
Lane Kiffin has filled his defensive coaching vacancies, hiring Florida Atlantic defensive coordinator Marvin Sanders as defensive backs coach and North Dakota State defensive coordinator Scottie Hazelton as linebackers coach. The hires were announced by Kiffin at USC's Junior Day on Sunday according to a source.

Sanders coached at Nebraska from 2008-11 before resigning in Feb. 2011, citing personal reasons. He was out of coaching for the remainder of the year before landing on the FAU staff under Carl Pelini this past December. Sanders served on that staff for just two months before making the move to USC.

Hazelton spent the past six seasons at North Dakota State, moving from defensive line coach to defensive coordinator. Hazelton played his college football at Fort Lewis College in Colorado.

Both coaches will inherit units at USC loaded with talent, as the defensive back seven returns every starter from 2011 and will add even more talent through transfers and the 2012 recruiting class.

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