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USC junior DL Leonard Williams said he played at 65 percent strength/health last season due to a torn labrum.

Williams claims he is currently at 95 percent strength and has gained 15 pounds, as he now weighs 305 pounds. Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman notes Williams just turned 20 years old. If that was Williams at 65 percent, we are pretty excited to see the defensive lineman close to 100. He has a great chance of being this year's top prospect on the defensive side of the ball.
Jul 24 - 10:11 AM

USC redshirt junior QB Cody Kessler is graded as a Rds. 6-7 prospect by TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline.

This is actually a promising ranking by the draft expert, as it asserts that Kessler is a better pro prospect than more lauded Pac-12 throwers Kevin Hogan (Stanford) and Taylor Kelly (Arizona State), both of whom Pauline graded as preseason UDFAs. Kessler took off when Lane Kiffin was booted to the curb and Ed Orgeron did away with the QB platoon that had Kessler sharing snaps with Max Wittek. Another step forward will draw the NFL's interest.
Jul 8 - 9:46 PM

USC junior WR Nelson Agholor was graded as an undrafted free agent by Tony Pauline of TFY Draft Insider.

Pauline is out in the wilderness on this one, but he's not afraid to go against the crowd. Earlier this offseason, CBS Sports' Rob Rang compared Agoholor to former teammates Marqise Lee and Robert Woods, and ESPN's Mel Kiper graded him as the No. 3 underclassmen wide receiver. The 6-foot, 185-pounder led the Trojans in receiving last year with 56 catches for 918 yards and 6 touchdowns, and added 18 punt returns for 343 yards (19.1 avg) with 2 TDs and 10 kickoff returns for 175 yards (17.5 avg). Agholor is a great open field runner because of his vision. We think he must add muscle to his spindly frame to ascend as a pro prospect.
Jul 8 - 8:38 PM

USC redshirt freshman DL Kenny Bigelow will miss the 2014 season with a torn ACL in his right knee.

The injury occurred during voluntary player workouts. Bigelow enrolled early last spring and promptly redshirted his first season. Without seeing him on the field it is tough to say if Bigelow can challenge for a starting spot in the future, but the Trojans will likely lose their top defensive prospect to the 2015 draft in Leonard Williams.
Jul 8 - 2:48 PM

ESPN's Mel Kiper ranks USC junior Max Tuerk as the top underclassmen offensive guard prospect.

"Not only does Tuerk go into his junior season with 20 career starts, but he's played almost everywhere at this point," Kiper wrote. "After spending time at the beginning of his career at left guard, he finished his freshman campaign starting at left tackle. Last year, he was back at guard, but also notched a game at right tackle. We're talking about a true junior with tremendous experience and versatility." The 6-foot-6, 285-pound Tuerk will draw plenty of attention from NFL scouts trying to decipher which positions best suits him in the pros -- as Kiper suggests, he's capable of handling all five OL spots.
Jul 5 - 5:52 PM

Former USC QB Max Wittek is in the process of applying to Hawaii for the 2014 school year and says there is a "good possibility" he will walk-on the football team.

Wittek pointed out nothing is official yet and he still has to have conversations with his family along with the acceptance of his application, but everything is headed in the right direction. The Star Advertiser notes Wittek would need to sit out the 2014 season since he did not graduate from USC last spring.
Jul 3 - 1:31 PM

USC redshirt junior RB Javorius Allen is a versatile, three-down back, according to CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

"Buck", who runs a 4.54 forty, is a fantasy breakout candidate. He entered last season as a virtual unknown, having toted only six career carries. After Lane Kiffin was dismissed, interim head coach Ed Orgeron unleashed the 6-foot, 215-pounder. Allen scored 12 touchdowns in USC's last six games and exceeded 100 yards four times. "Allen has a high-cut frame and a gliding, deceptively powerful running style and offers help in the passing game as both a receiver and blocker," Rang observed.
Source: CBS Sports
Jun 29 - 1:49 PM

CBS Sports' Rob Rang notes that USC senior DE J.R Tavai needs to finish "strong" due to his "tweener traits and medical concerns."

"Tavai is powerful, relatively light on his feet and plays with a high-revving motor but his 'tweener traits and medical concerns mean that he needs a strong cap to his collegiate career to earn a draft selection," Rang wrote. Tavai has dealt with injuries the last two years (ankle injury/broken foot) although when healthy, he's been able to make an impact for the Trojans. The USC prospect spent most of last season at outside linebacker, and was available at defensive end and at tackle. Tavai recorded a career-high 56 tackles, and added eight tackles for a loss to his resume.
Source: CBS Sports
Jun 28 - 5:47 PM

USC redshirt senior ILB Hayes Pullard "is a feisty, instinctive defender with a quick burst to close" but is small for the position, according to CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

The 6-foot-1, 230-pounder "has a been rock in the middle of the Trojans' defense over his career," wrote Rang, making 39 starts and recording 282 tackles, 20 for loss. "Pullard is savvy enough to slip past some blockers and make tackles close to the line of scrimmage but he struggles to break free once engaged and gets lost in the traffic," Rang wrote. The inside 'backer runs a 4.73 forty.
Source: CBS Sports
Jun 28 - 3:42 PM

USC senior OL Aundrey Walker (ankle) is expected to shift back to guard in 2014.

Walker has started at left tackle and right guard over the past two seasons. The 6-foot-5, 300-pounder missed spring practices while recovering from a broken left ankle suffered against UCLA last season. "Walker looks the part of an NFL lineman, boasting long arms and a proportionate frame," wrote CBS Sports' Rob Rang. "He is powerful but not particularly nimble."
Source: CBS Sports
Jun 28 - 3:29 PM

USC junior WR Nelson Agholor compares to former teammates Marqise Lee and Robert Woods in sporting a "lean, athletic frame, good lateral agility to elude and sudden acceleration," according to CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

Agholor led the Trojans in receiving last year with 56 catches for 918 yards and 6 touchdowns, and added 18 punt returns for 343 yards (19.1 avg) with 2 TDs and 10 kickoff returns for 175 yards (17.5 avg). "Agholor shows good quickness and balance as a route-runner and is asked to run a variety of routes in USC's pro-style scheme," wrote Rang. "He generally catches the ball cleanly with his hands (some bobbles, however) and secures it quickly. He possesses very good vision to set up blocks, as well as the courage and quickness to cut-back against the grain to take advantage of over-pursuing defenders."
Source: CBS Sports
Jun 28 - 1:30 PM

USC redshirt senior DB Josh Shaw could be viewed as a corner by the NFL due to the league's "recent love affair with bigger cornerbacks," writes CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Shaw started 11 games at corner and three at free safety in 2013, collecting 67 tackles -- 5.5 for loss -- seven pass break ups and four interceptions. "He has quick feet and fluid hips to change directions but may not possess ideal straight-line speed," wrote Rang. "Shaw possesses terrific football intelligence, which is demonstrated not only with his ability to shuffle from corner to either of the safety position but in the closing burst he shows once the ball has been thrown. Shaw is rarely fooled in coverage and rips at the ball as it arrives. He is a reliable, consistent tackler, though he hasn't yet proven to be the intimidating hitter that his frame suggests." Shaw began his career at Florida but moved back to his native California due to the poor health of his father and grandfather.
Source: CBS Sports
Jun 27 - 2:46 PM

USC DL Leonard Williams is an "exceptional talent" who possesses "a rare combination of size, easy athleticism and raw power," according to CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

Williams is a freak who earned Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year honors as a DT, 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 possesses a naturally large frame with broad shoulders, long limbs and a trim middle that makes it easy to see why the Trojans have rotated him all over the defensive line," Rang wrote. "Williams has impressive initial quickness, lateral agility, flexibility and balance to penetrate gaps and attack on stunts. He has very long arms, which allows him to keep blockers from latching on." According to the analyst, Williams must work on his leverage -- he tends to play high -- and could stand to read passing lanes better in order to knock down more attempts. "It is hard to imagine a scenario in which Williams doesn't wind up among the top five selections of the 2015 draft," Rang wrote.
Source: CBS Sports
Jun 27 - 2:31 PM

Former NFL scout Bucky Brooks believes USC DL Leonard Williams is a "work in progress."

"Although he possesses the prototypical physical dimensions and is very productive in several areas, NFL scouts will want to see more consistency and urgency in his play before anointing him as an elite prospect in the 2015 or 2016 class," Brooks writes. The former scout notes Williams needs to improve his hand use, pad level and footwork to "become a dominant player." There are few finished products at the college level, and we feel Williams will ultimately end up in the top 15 range.
Source: NFL.com
Jun 25 - 10:09 AM

USC will offer four-year scholarships for football, men's basketball and women's basketball instead of the current one-year renewable model.

Thus immediately offers more security for student-athletes that participate in these three revenue generating sports. In taking this action, USC hopes to help lead the effort to refocus on student-athlete welfare on and off the field," AD Pat Haden said. We aren't certain of the details, specifically the process if either side wants to get out of their end of the deal, but those should be available soon. Northwestern, Ohio State, Auburn, Michigan, Michigan State, Florida and Nebraska have also implemented this new model.
Source: USC Trojans
Jun 24 - 10:35 AM


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