Player News

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Four-star 2018 LB Palaie Gaoteote, the No. 1 outside linebacker in the country, committed to USC.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder ranks as ESPN's No. 41 overall prospect and Rivals' No. 24 overall prospect in the 2018 cycle. He held offers from most of the country, including Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, UCLA and Washington. The Trojans have been on an epic recruiting heater since the end of the 2017 cycle.
Source: ESPN
Feb 20 - 1:55 PM

A former USC assistant coach explained to NFL.com's Lance Zierlein that WR JuJu Smith-Schuster "absolutely loves football."

"He came in as a safety and probably could have gone pro as a safety," the assistant added. Smith-Schuster's 2015 season is one of the most productive from a receiver in this class, with 89 catches for 1,454 yards and 10 touchdowns. The following year was a disappointment. One difference is JuJu averaged 1.2 yards more after the catch as a sophomore.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 20 - 10:31 AM

In NFL Media analyst Chad Reuter's most recent four-round mock draft, USC WR JuJu Smith-Schuster is not selected until pick No. 69.

Reuter projects Smith-Schuster to the Titans (via one of the picks the Rams gave up for Jared Goff) at pick No. 69. This feels like an accurate placement given recent draft buzz -- or lack thereof -- regarding the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder. Earlier this month, Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline passed along that he was hearing from two separate sources that Smith-Schuster is being viewed as a second- or third-rounder. Getting the wideout in the third round would be an absolute steal in our opinion.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 18 - 2:19 PM

Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline hears that while training with Clemson WR Mike Williams and Western Michigan WR Corey Davis, USC WR Darreus Rogers has "looked the equal" of those two first-rounders to-be.

This has particularly been the case during pass-catching drills, where Pauline reports that Rogers was "oftentimes the best receiver of the three when the trio worked together." The analyst adds that the true concern with the 6-foot-1, 215-pound Rogers is in his top-end speed. "My suggestion: don’t automatically dismiss Rogers if he’s not swift during the [C]ombine and pay attention to his pass-catching workout," Pauline concludes. Rogers could find interest in the later rounds on Day 3 of the draft.
Feb 17 - 8:44 PM

Rivals recruiting analyst Adam Gorney passes along that uncommitted four-star 2018 LB Palaie Gaoteote is a "top target" for Ohio State.

Gorney believes that Gaoteote will ultimately commit to HC Urban Meyer and crew, though he cautions that UCLA could play spoiler on this one. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder ranks as Rivals' No. 24 overall prospect in the 2018 cycle. ESPN views him in a relatively similar light, slotting Gaoteote into their master list at No. 41 overall. The latter outlet notes that assuming he can put on a bit more playing weight, his highest collegiate upside would come at outside linebacker.
Source: Rivals
Feb 17 - 7:45 PM

Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline relays that sources saw USC CB Adoree' Jackson receiving care for his lower leg and ankle from a trainer or physical therapist at a recent workout.

Our trusted analyst has gone full Game of Thrones here, getting valuable intel from the little birdies he's spread across the land. Since Jackson was carted off the field with a serious ankle injury at the Rose Bowl against Penn State, this situation demands the draft community's full attention. Jackson is seen as a late-Rd. 1 or early-Rd. 2 prospect.
Feb 16 - 12:56 PM

USC redshirt freshman T E.J. Price is still enrolled at the school.

Price hasn't been with the football program since September due to "some personal family issues," per HC Clay Helton, and he's been rumored to be transferring since then. That he hasn't yet provides hope that he might return to the Trojans after all. The 6-foot-6, 311-pound Price was ranked as the No. 184 overall recruit in his cycle by Rivals.
Feb 10 - 2:54 PM

The New York Daily News printed a column about whether the Jets should tank next season headlined: "Suck For Sam."

The Sam in this case is USC redshirt sophomore QB Sam Darnold, who'll first be eligible for the NFL Draft after next season (2018). The Daily News reports that although some in the Jets' building like North Carolina QB Mitch Trubisky, he isn't expected to last until No. 6. Unless New York talks itself into one of the crop's other signal-callers, it may choose to wait until next year to pull the trigger on a top-notch QB prospect. Next year's QB class, led by Darnold and UCLA’s Josh Rosen, is expected to be more top-heavy than this one. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Darnold threw 31 touchdowns with only nine interceptions in going 9-1 as a starter last year. "Suck for Sam might be worth the gamble," concluded Manish Mehta.
Feb 10 - 2:15 PM

Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline spoke to two separate sources who view USC WR JuJu Smith-Schuster as a second- or third-round selection.

"They feel there is nothing special about his game; he’s not a downfield threat, he runs average routes and some contend he does not catch the ball well," Pauline writes. This jives very closely with CBS Sports' Dane Brugler's opinion -- Brugler wrote in mid-January that he would be caught off guard if Smith-Schuster was drafted in the first round. His work at the NFL Scouting Combine later this month is looking increasingly crucial if the former Trojans star is to remain in the first-round conversation.
Feb 9 - 4:53 PM

USC suspended K Matt Boermeester indefinitely while the university investigates a "code of conduct issue."

Deadspin reports that "[t]wo tips have described a January incident involving Boermeester and his ex-girlfriend." No further details of that alleged incident are available. "The university is investigating a code of conduct issue with Matt Boermeester," the school said in a statement. "While this student code of conduct issue is being investigated, the student will not be representing the university as a member of its athletic team."
Source: Deadspin
Feb 8 - 1:35 PM

Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline reports that there is a concern among some scouts that USC OL Zach Banner "does not or cannot bend his knees."

Pauline relays that scouts "love" Banner's size and athletic ability, but beyond those facets of his game, there is some cause for concern. In addition to his lack of knee-bend, the 6-foot-8, 361-pounder (he's a big boy) could be flagged by some teams on the medical front due to past hip injuries. Pauline believes he will be drafted in the fourth round or thereabouts this spring.
Feb 5 - 4:48 PM

Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline relays that most of the scouts he spoke with during the Senior Bowl practice week are viewing USC CB Adoree' Jackson as a first-round pick.

Pauline passes along that Jackson is being viewed as a "lock" first-rounder in many circles. He does not believe size concerns will ding Jackson too much, though the former Trojan star is expected to measure at 5-foot-10 come the NFL Scouting Combine. Not all are convinced on a first-round selection, though, as in mid-January, an area scout told NFL.com's Lance Zierlein that he sees Jackson being drafted in the second round. Jackson could be used in a variety of roles once he hits the NFL Draft. He is as dynamic of an athlete as anybody in the pool.
Feb 5 - 3:48 PM

USC signed four-star 2017 T Andrew Vorhees.

Vorhees committed to the Trojans last summer and did not shift off that through the rest of the cycle. Rivals ranks the 6-foot-6, 290-pound native of Kingsburg, California, as the No. 237 overall prospect in the 2017 class. He fails to crack the ESPN 300, though, with the outlet noting that Vorhees "[n]eeds to continue polishing his set and footwork in pass protection" and show better awareness of his pad level. He is a potential redshirt candidate for the coming season.
Feb 4 - 6:21 PM

USC signed four-star 2017 ATH Greg Johnson.

Johnson is following prep teammate five-star WR Joseph Lewis -- along with a slew of other top-shelf recruits -- in opting for the Trojans. Johnson chose USC over Oregon and Nebraska. The No. 116 player in the ESPN 300 and the No. 97 overall prospect in Scout's eyes, Johnson "is like a smaller version of Soso Jamabo in terms of his value as a RB/scat/pure wide receiver," notes ESPN's scouting report. Scout's Greg Biggins refers to Johnson as one of the best two-way athletes in the West. USC may use him as a corner. "Johnson is a fluid corner with the flexibility to excel in press schemes," ESPN noted. "He also offers some versatility, as shows the ability to work over the slot or on the outside. Overall, Johnson is more of a cover corner who won't exactly mix it up in the run game."
Source: ESPN
Feb 1 - 4:26 PM

USC signed five-star 2017 WR Joseph Lewis.

All signs were pointing in this direction heading into Wednesday. Oregon and Nebraska were also in his top-three. The 6-foot-2, 207-pounder was one of the best uncommitted prospects remaining on the 2017 board. With the Trojans, he brings an elite level of athleticism. Scout.com's Greg Biggins notes that Lewis "has size, down field speed, is a fluid route runner and catches the ball very well." He also refers to him as an "explosive leaper." Biggins' outlet ranks him as the No. 24 overall prospect in the 2017 cycle. USC has been absolutely knocking it out of the park on National Signing Day.
Source: Scout.com
Feb 1 - 4:19 PM


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