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Scout.com's Brandon Huffman passes along that "[e]very event [USC four-star 2018 verbal C commit Justin Dedich] went to on a big stage, [he] was the best lineman there."

"In shirts and shorts, in pads, whatever it was," Huffman writes, "Dedich showed why he’s the premier offensive lineman in the West and the best center prospect since 2004 when Jeff Byers was the top-ranked prospect from the region." ESPN's Craig Haubert compares Dedich (6'2/280) to North Carolina C Tommy Hatton due to similar rugged, competitive natures on the field.
Source: Scout.com
Jul 21 - 3:36 PM

USC four-star 2018 verbal RB commit Mychael Salhuddin plans on taking official visits to USC, Maryland and North Carolina.

This was where the trade winds seemed to be heading during the summer. We now have confirmation from Salhuddin, himself. He is still figuring out which specific games he will be taking in for those officials. While the 5-foot-11, 190-pounder is considering Maryland and North Carolina, USC still looks pretty firmly in command to land Rivals' No. 140 overall prospect this winter. Said Salhuddin, "Everything is going perfectly with [the Trojans]. It's what I always wanted to do."
Source: Rivals
Jul 20 - 8:42 PM

USC four-star 2018 verbal RB commit Mychael Salahuddin is looking like a strong bet to visit Maryland and North Carolina.

No huge surprise there -- Salahuddin (5'11/190) said at the time of his initial pledge to the Trojans in June that he would continue to take his fair share of visits. Per Rivals' Adam Friedman, the trip to North Carolina will probably be one of his five officials this fall. Salahuddin ranks as the outlet's No. 140 overall prospect in the 2018 class. He offers a nice mix of hard-nosed running and get-around-the-edge speed, plus a developing ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.
Source: Rivals
Jul 15 - 2:50 PM

USC redshirt sophomore QB Sam Darnold refuted a recent NFL.com report stating that "several sources close to" him believe he'll stay on campus beyond the 2017 season.

"I don’t really have many thoughts about that," Darnold said during an appearance on The Six. "I don’t think any team should tank their season because of me. I’m just taking this every day, one day at a time. That’s all I can do." Darnold went on to say that the NFL.com story didn’t come from him and that no decision has been on the 2018 NFL Draft. "I’m looking forward to whatever lies ahead of my future," he said. "But I’m really just taking it one day at a time." The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder is the consensus No. 1 overall NFL prospect heading into the season.
Jul 12 - 1:57 PM

USC junior DE/OLB Porter Gustin was clocked him at a 4.5 40-yard dash with a 35-inch vertical jump.

The 6-foot-5, 260-pounder can also squat 575 pounds, bench press 475, and put up 35 bench-press reps at 225 pounds. A former five-star recruit, Gustin is famous around the program for showing up to the weight room early in the morning. Gustin had 68 tackles, 13 TFL and 5.5 sacks in 2016.
Source: NFL.com
Jul 6 - 12:21 PM

USC redshirt sophomore QB Sam Darnold is working with QB coach Jordan Palmer to shorten his long throwing motion.

This is sage preparation by Darnold, who is attempting to shore up the one part of his game that scouts have nitpicked (Mel Kiper Jr. wrote of it: "He does have an unorthodox, long delivery, however, that will have to be retooled."). Darnold, a former baseball player, has said his windup is similar to NFL quarterback Jameis Winston's. "His circle is, when your hands come apart, the ball comes down a little bit, and then it starts to come back up and then it goes all the way up behind your head and it goes forward when you throw," Palmer said. "Right now, Sam's circle is bigger than it needs to be." Darnold completed 67 percent of his passes last season. He's the consensus No. 1 overall draft prospect heading into the new season.
Jul 5 - 5:12 PM

Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network reports that "several sources close to" USC redshirt sophomore QB Sam Darnold say he may plays two more seasons for the Trojans.

Darnold is a redshirt sophomore who can declare for the draft as early as 2018 (or enter it as late as 2020). Most assume that Darnold, the consensus No. 1 overall prospect in the 2018 class, will declare after the season, but as this report suggests, those assumptions are premature.
Source: NFL.com
Jul 5 - 2:47 PM

USC redshirt sophomore QB Sam Darnold won the college counselor quarterback challenge at The Opening with the highest score ever recorded.

Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph and BYU's Tanner Mangum were among the other counselors on hand in Beaverton. Darnold apparently left them -- and all-comers -- in the dust during the competition. We are not quite sure if there is anything that can serve as a breaker for the giant wave of (deserved) hype at this point. Heading into the 2017 season, USC is a contender for the national championship and Darnold a contender to both win the Heisman and be drafted No. 1 overall.
Jun 30 - 7:07 PM

USC redshirt senior WR Steven Mitchell (knee) has begun to take reps with the team.

Mitchell was sporting a knee brace during his summer work with the team on Thursday. He is on the mend from a torn left ACL sustained against Arizona in mid-October. Prior to going down injured, he had caught 24 passes for 226 yards and a score. It is still unclear just how ready he will be for August camp. Stay tuned over the coming weeks.
Jun 30 - 4:59 PM

USC redshirt sophomore QB Sam Darnold is not present for the school's player run practice sessions.

We suspect a conflict of schedule is the reason here, likely the Elite 11 camp where Darnold will act as a counselor. Very few knew Darnold's name at this point last season, but he has already propelled himself into the conversation of the top prospect in the country.
Jun 29 - 10:56 AM

USC received a verbal commitment from four-star 2018 RB Mychale Salahuddin.

"Nothing is set in stone. I'll still be taking visits but I'm taking advantage of the opportunity that's in front of me," Salahuddin said. Rivals ranks the 5-foot-11, 190-pounder as the No. 140 overall prospect for the 2018 cycle. Outlet analyst Adam Friedman notes that the Trojan pledge "has the toughness to pound the ball between the tackles but is still very fast around the edge" and adds that he is "also very good as a receiver out of the backfield and that versatility will add to the firepower USC already has on offense."
Source: Rivals
Jun 26 - 12:42 PM

USC RB Aca’Cedric Ware (ankle) was limited during the spring.

The combination of a November ankle injury and late-season concussion symptoms left Ware compromised heading into the offseason. We have no reason to believe that his 2017 availability is in question. Ware ran for 397 yards on 78 carries (5.1 ypc) with two touchdowns and caught four passes for 29 yards (7.3 ypr) last season.
Source: Fansided
Jun 25 - 1:47 PM

ESPN's Craig Haubert compared USC four-star 2018 verbal C commit Justin Dedich to North Carolina C Tommy Hatton.

"Dedich, like the current Tar Heel, is tough and competitive and projects as an interior lineman in college with the ability to develop at center and be an early contributor," Haubert writes. He notes that the 6-foot-2, 280-pounder "blends football smarts with a tough, physical style and has the potential to be an eventual anchor for USC's O-line." Of the Trojans' seven commitments in the 2018 class thus far, six are members of the ESPN 300. That number would have been bolstered by former pledge Matt Corral, but he reopened his recruitment over the weekend.
Jun 20 - 8:09 PM

USC received a verbal commitment from four-star 2018 C Justin Dedich.

"I felt like I fit in with their coaching and style of play," said Dedich, who specifically cited the way he has meshed with HC Clay Helton and OL coach Neil Callaway during the recruiting process. The 6-foot-2, 280-pounder was one of the top performers at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge several weekends ago, with Rivals noting that he "passed with flying colors" when facing off with some of the better defensive line recruits in the Indianapolis camp. Dedich ranks as the outlet's No. 2 center prospect in the 2018 class.
Jun 20 - 4:13 PM

An AFC college scouting director ranks USC redshirt sophomore QB Sam Darnold as the best QB prospect in the 2018 class.

"He was impressive when he took over, he’s got the size, arm talent and tools that you want in a pocket passer," he said. MMQB's Albert Breer also spoke with an AFC exec who praised Darnold. "He’s accurate, and he’s only 19 years old, so you hope he’s going to get stronger," the exec said. "Everyone’s going to pick apart his throwing motion, but there’s not a lot he can’t do." NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah wrote about Darnold's long delivery recently, noting that he isn't "quite as worried about it as some other evaluators" and that "it isn't monotone or sluggish like Byron Leftwich's. Russell Wilson has a similar release."
Source: MMQB
Jun 19 - 6:35 PM


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