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USC freshman WR JuJu Smith caught four balls for 123 yards in the first half of Saturday's blowout victory over Fresno State.

The 6-foot-2 wideout didn't have a reception in the second half, but the Trojans more or less called off the dogs with a 31-7 halftime lead. Smith did a little bit of everything on Saturday night. He made a nice sliding catch, he ripped off a long gain off of a screen pass, and he fought back for a ball and then broke a tackle. If he keeps this up, Smith and Nelson Agholor will form one of the nation's most dangerous receiving duos in Steve Sarkisian's breakneck offense.
Aug 31 - 6:41 PM

USC redshirt junior QB Cody Kessler completed 25-of-37 passes for 394 yards and four touchdowns in Saturday night's 52-13 romp over Fresno State.

Kessler, who didn't throw an interception, added 28 yards and a touchdown on the ground. In new HC Steve Sarkisian's up-tempo shotgun offense (the Trojans ran a school- and Pac-12-record 105 plays), Kessler could be in line for a monster season. Kessler isn't an elite prospect -- he goes 6-foot-1, 210 pounds and doesn't possess a howitzer -- but he's the type of efficient collegiate signal-caller that can put up video game numbers in the right system and forge a long NFL career as a steady backup (TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline graded him as a Rds. 6-7 prospect last month). He threw for 2,968 yards with 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions last season, and is poised for more in 2014.
Aug 31 - 6:26 PM

USC redshirt senior RB Anthony Brown quit the team on Thursday and called HC Steve Sarkisian a racist via social media.

"Sark treated me like a slave in his office... can't play for a racist MAN!!!!!" Brown posted on Instagram. "Sark said they tried to accommodate Brown, moving him to running back," Ryan Abraham reports. "He was unfortunately hurt but Sark said they still tried to get him to stay on the team. Sark felt he could help the team. Brown refused, quit the team then posted the" previous statement. If we remember correctly, Brown signed with Pete Carroll, played under Lane Kiffin and Ed Orgeron and now left the team while Sarkisian was the decision maker.
Aug 28 - 3:44 PM

The Los Angeles Daily News reports that USC redshirt junior RB Tre Madden could be out for a month because of his turf toe injury.

Originally Madden was thought to be a game-time decision, but if he happened to miss up to a month, Madden would miss the Trojans' opener against Fresno St., the Pac-12 opener against Stanford, and Boston College Sept. 13th. After a bye, USC will face Oregon State on Sept. 27th, which could be a target date for Madden's likely return, if the injury report holds up. Madden suffered the lingering toe injury in summer camp and has not been able to shake the pain.
Aug 28 - 10:00 AM

USC announced redshirt senior DB Josh Shaw admitted to fabricating the story about hurting his ankles while saving his nephew from drowning, and he has been suspended indefinitely.

"We are extremely disappointed in Josh," said head coach Steve Sarkisian in a release. "He let us all down. As I have said, nothing in his background led us to doubt him when he told us of his injuries, nor did anything after our initial vetting of his story. I appreciate that Josh has now admitted that he lied and has apologized. Although this type of behavior is out of character for Josh, it is unacceptable. Honesty and integrity must be at the center of our program. I believe Josh will learn from this. I hope that he will not be defined by this incident, and that the Trojan Family will accept his apology and support him." Shaw explained his two high ankle sprains on Monday by saying he saved his 7-year-old nephew from drowning. The school received several calls contradicting his story, leading to an investigation. Shaw's legal team is expected to release a statement later on Wednesday.
Source: CBS Sports
Aug 27 - 6:57 PM

The investigation into USC redshirt senior DB Josh Shaw's story about saving his drowning nephew is in a "holding pattern."

"It's pretty clear that there's quite a few conflicting stories out there," USC football coach Steve Sarkisian said after practice on Wednesday. "Any information we have been provided up until this point we have pushed along to campus authorities. We're really going to let it play out in their hands up until this point and quite honestly we're in somewhat of a holding pattern. That's where we are at. Anything I do get that I can provide you guys with, I will, believe me, I will." Shaw suffered two high-ankle sprains recently and said he did so while saving his 7-year-old nephew from drowning. The school received calls that contradicted Shaw's story and subsequently launched an inquiry. Shaw is out indefinitely. "None of the players really know about the Josh Shaw situation," Leonard Williams said. "[Sarkisian] basically told us to stay focused and don't let it affect us on Saturday."
Aug 27 - 6:27 PM

USC redshirt junior QB Cody Kessler praised new HC Steve Sarkisian's up-tempo shotgun offense.

"It gave us an advantage," Kessler said in regards to facing the Trojans' defense. "It helps me out a lot more, too." During his first season as the school's starting quarterback, Kessler threw for 2,968 yards with 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Kessler is not necessarily a good prospect, but we think he deserves a bit more attention and praise. He is not afraid to throw across the middle, even when pressured.
Aug 27 - 10:58 AM

USC redshirt senior DB Josh Shaw is a hybrid defensive back that the NFL covets, an anonymous NFL scout said.

"He's so big and versatile -- can play corner and safety," the scout said. "Hybrid player teams desire." Shaw is in the national conversation at the moment for a situation that occurred off the field. Shaw suffered two high-ankle sprains recently and said he did so while saving his nephew from drowning. The school received calls that contradicted Shaw's story, and they will conduct their own investigation. Either way, Shaw is out indefinitely.
Aug 26 - 4:11 PM

USC head coach Steve Sarkisian said the school received calls on Tuesday contradicting senior DB Josh Shaw's story about saving his nephew from drowning.

"I heard late last night doubts within the program over Josh Shaw story," beat writer Scott Wolf tweeted. "Sources told me incident did not involve family party or rescuing nephew from pool. USC investigating claims." The initial story stated Shaw jumped from the second story to save his nephew, who could not swim. Saw suffered two high ankle sprains from the event, which was reported via a school release. Stay tuned for more.
Aug 26 - 1:42 PM

USC junior DL Leonard Williams is a legitimate candidate to go No. 1 overall in the spring, CBS Sports' Rob Rang believes.

Williams earned Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year honors as a DT in 2012, and then converted to DE to collect 74 tackles -- 13.5 for loss -- and six sacks while battling through a nagging shoulder injury last year. He added 15 pounds of beef this offseason and now weighs 305. "The game seems to come easy for Williams, whose unique blend of size, athleticism and power, could make him a legitimate candidate for No. 1 overall should the young quarterbacks falter," Rang wrote.
Source: CBS Sports
Aug 25 - 7:04 PM

USC redshirt senior DB Josh Shaw injured himself while saving his nephew from drowning and is out indefinitely.

"While attending a family social function at his cousin's apartment in his hometown of Palmdale, Shaw looked on from a second floor balcony to the pool below and saw his 7-year-old nephew, who cannot swim, in distress without help nearby," a school press release reads. "Shaw instinctively leaped off the balcony, landing painfully on the concrete below." The defensive back and team captain apparently suffered two high-ankle sprains. Evaluators are mainly looking at Shaw as a free safety prospect, but everyone will agree the story sounds heroic.
Source: USC Trojans
Aug 25 - 6:43 PM

USC junior DL Leonard Williams was graded by NFL.com as the No. 3 player in the country.

"He is a dominant player on tape. He has a rare blend of size, length and explosiveness," Daniel Jeremiah said. The USC prospect should be a bit more sturdy in the trenches this year after gaining 15 pounds this offseason (he's up to 305). "Powerful interior defender with outstanding first-step quickness and body control. Williams should dominate the Pac-12 now that he's healthy and ready to go," Bucky Brooks said. Charles Davis says Williams has "breathtaking athleticism," Gil Brandt calls him a "great pass rusher," and Bryan Fischer said Williams "might be the most talented defensive player to come through USC in the past decade."
Source: NFL.com
Aug 24 - 11:11 PM

USC redshirt junior RB Tre Madden (toe) is considered questionable for the opener against Fresno State and will be a game-time decision.

"[W]e’re taking every precautionary action we can to make sure that Tre is great and ready to go when his time is called again," coach Steve Sarkisian said. Madden suffered a lingering toe injury in summer camp and has not been able to shake the pain. Sarkisian said the running back, who has been wearing a walking boot on his right foot, is "probably a game-time decision." "When you start messing with a running back and his feet or his toes, his ability to push off, they just don’t overnight, all of a sudden, get better," Sarkisian said. "We’re trying to maximize his rest. We’re trying to keep him off his feet as best we can to get him as healthy as quickly as we can and hopefully have him ready to go for next Saturday."
Aug 23 - 3:08 PM

ESPN's Todd McShay rated USC junior WR Nelson Agholor as the No. 3 receiving prospect.

"Agholor is a smooth and explosive athlete who is very good at separating from coverage, and has the potential to get even better as a route runner," McShay wrote. "He has the speed to take the top off of a defense, and while he lacks elite elusiveness, he has the acceleration and field vision that make him a home run threat after the catch and in the return game." McShay places Agholor one spot ahead of Oklahoma transfer Dorial Green-Beckham, which is a rather controversial take. Some analysts see DGB as a top-10 overall pick next spring, while TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline graded Agholor as an undrafted free agent. The latter assessment was admittedly low -- CBS Sports' Rob Rang compared Agoholor to former teammates Marqise Lee and Robert Woods earlier this summer, and ESPN's Mel Kiper graded him as the No. 3 underclassmen wide receiver. The 6-foot, 185-pound Agholor led the Trojans in receiving last year with 56 catches for 918 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Aug 21 - 6:38 PM

USC redshirt junior QB Cody Kessler avoided a serious injury during a scrimmage on Wednesday.

Greg Townsend Jr. was blocked into Kessler’s left knee, with the Orange County Register writing that the QB's "foot slipped out from underneath the 275-pound defensive end’s body just in time." Good thing, that, as an injury could have altered USC's fortunes this fall for the worse. "I wouldn’t say I was in shock, but it freaked me out," Kessler said. "I was thinking, ‘Oh man, I just almost lost my knee. It was more of a frightened, scared feeling as much as anything. You never think it’s going to happen to you. … It was that close to happening." Kessler was recently graded as a Rds. 6-7 prospect by TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline.
Aug 18 - 12:52 AM


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