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CBS Sports' Dane Brugler says NFL scouts want to see USC redshirt senior T Zach Banner "improve his mental focus and overall consistency as a senior before stamping him with an early round grade."

The massive 6-foot-8 specimen, the son of 1993 top-10 pick and 11-year NFL veteran Lincoln Kennedy, reportedly slimmed down from 375 pounds to 342 this offseason. With LT Chad Wheeler also returning, Banner is expected to stay at RT this season with the Trojans. "He has his issues in pass protection due to his heavy feet and high pads as flexible rushers are able to dip and run around him with athleticism," Brugler wrote. "But his power to control the point of attack, especially in the run game, is what makes him a possible right tackle target in the NFL." Banner could start seeing some Phil Loadholt comps.
Source: CBS Sports
Jul 25 - 5:01 PM

USC junior CB/WR Adoree Jackson wants to shadow Alabama star WR Calvin Ridley in the 2016 season against Alabama.

The schools locks horns in Arlington, Texas, on Sept. 3. "I do (want to follow Ridley). You've seen what (Lane Kiffin) did with Marqise Lee. (Kiffin) had him (when Lee) won the Biletnikoff (Award), had him everywhere on the field," Jackson said at the Pac-12 media days. "I guess me following him, would bump me into a (higher) candidacy for the Thorpe Award or any other award that's up. If I followed him, that would look great on me. It's going to show that I'm hungry, I'm ready to go for the season. I just want to set a statement for everyone for the season going (forward) that I'm not scared, I'm not backing down from anybody, and I'm just ready to go." Jackson was selected last week as a member of the watch list for the Thorpe Award, while Ridley snagged 89 passes for 1,045 yards and seven touchdowns as a true frosh in 2015. It's worth noting that Jackson struggled with the speedy Will Fuller last year. Either way, this will be must-see TV.
Source: NFL.com
Jul 21 - 6:15 PM

NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah compares USC junior CB/WR Adoree' Jackson to the Cincinnati Bengals' Adam Jones.

"Both players are very instinctive, elusive and explosive," Jeremiah wrote. "However, Jones was more polished and productive as a corner in college." At cornerback, the analyst likes Jackson's "quick feet," "recovery speed," "ball awareness down the field," and notes that "he's very fluid when he opens his hips." As for the negatives, Jeremiah saw Jackson get burned a few too many times "because of his inconsistent focus and technique." Jeremiah also touched on Jackson's subpar eye discipline, but chalked some of the weaknesses up to inexperience.
Source: NFL.com
Jul 21 - 4:45 PM

USC junior CB/WR Adoree Jackson says he knows he'll have to focus exclusively on football once in the NFL.

"I'm trying to go to the World Championships, honestly, next year. That's still weighing on my mind," Jackson said at Pac-12 Media Days. "Hopefully, I can do it. God willing if I go to the (NFL), they might not let me go out there and run track because I would be a rookie." He's talking about the 2017 IAAF World Championships next August. If he enters the NFL draft as an underclassman next year, however, that event will have to do without him. Jackson, who was an All-Pac 12 first-team cornerback in 2015, failed to qualify for the Rio Summer Games after reaching qualifiers in the long jump event.
Jul 20 - 5:03 PM

USC suspended sophomore CB Isaiah Langley for the season-opener against Alabama.

Langley's suspension ties to his May 6 arrest on suspicion of trespassing, intoxication and resisting arrest. Langley was attending a party on UCLA's campus at the time and UCLA police spokeswoman Nancy Greenstein said that "[w]hen he was asked to leave, he refused. Police were called and he was arrested for misdemeanor trespassing." Langley appeared in 11 games last season and recorded 12 tackles in that space.
Jul 20 - 1:08 PM

USC HC Clay Helton called OC Tee Martin "the next Mike Tomlin."

Martin is entering his first full-time season as an offensive coordinator, but he already has Helton's complete trust and will serve as the primary play-caller during the regular season. "In my 21 years," Helton said, "he's the most complete coach I've been around." Martin, 37, served as the Trojans' quarterback coach last season and has been on USC's staff for the last four seasons. Keep the name in mind when the coaching carousel starts back up in December.
Source: ESPN.com
Jul 16 - 8:41 PM

USC HC Clay Helton said that OC Tee Martin will call the plays this coming season.

When Helton took over as interim head coach in the wake of Steve Sarkisian's October firing, he initially called all the plays himself, mostly leaning on Martin's expertise on third-down. That will shift in 2016. "The best staffs I have been on have been the staffs that communicate after the series are done to make the adjustments," Helton said. USC still plans on running a no-huddle attack except in key situations (mostly near the end of the game).
Source: ESPN.com
Jul 16 - 4:44 PM

USC redshirt senior T Zach Banner indicated that he has lost around 45 pounds this offseason.

Banner admitted to tipping the scales at 387 pounds prior to last season's Holiday Bowl loss to Wisconsin. That was a bit much for his liking, even for a position that requires massive bulk. The 6-foot-8 behemoth said that he has slimmed down to 342 this offseason. He sees his ideal playing weight between 330 and 350 pounds.
Source: ESPN.com
Jul 16 - 3:49 PM

USC worked sophomore RB Dominic Davis out as a return man and a slot receiver this spring.

"I've been all over," Davis said in April. "Whatever they call me to do, I'll be available. I just give it my all." Davis, a speedster, boasts a 6.78 second 60-meter dash. As a true freshman last fall, Davis had 14 carries for 69 yards and seven catches for 102 yards.
Source: Scout
Jul 15 - 5:36 PM

USC HC Clay Helton indicated that junior CB/WR Adoree' Jackson is narrowing his focus to the defensive side of the ball.

"How do you help a defensive front?" Helton asked. "You load the box. You play man coverage. … So I really feel for Adoree' to become what I think he is, one of the best DBs in the country. I really want his primary focus going into training camp, to work the defensive back position." Helton did say that the electric 5-foot-11, 185-pounder might return "a kick or two" and could be used as a weapon on specific offensive plays, but otherwise, it looks like his days as a regular Swiss Army Knife are drawing to a close. Assuming we can take Helton at his word, those in CFB fantasy formats can feel free to investigate elsewhere, as it does not appear Jackson will have a significant offensive role this coming season.
Jul 15 - 3:08 PM

USC HC Clay Helton said that he would name a starter between redshirt junior QB Max Browne and redshirt freshman QB Sam Darnold after 18 practices in August.

This will give Helton and company two weeks to prepare for their season-opening Armageddon with Alabama, set to kick off on September 3. While he has been keeping his cards relatively close to the vest on this one, Helton did offer one nugget of potential clarification when he noted that Browne would have won the starting job out of spring practice if the season had started up in May. Darnold performed well enough in the spring to at least temporarily stall Browne's ascension to the starting gig for 2016. For all the world, though, this looks like Browne's job to lose. The 6-foot-5, 215-pounder was a five-star recruit out of high school and ranked as Rivals' No. 7 overall prospect (No. 1 pro-style QB) for the 2013 cycle.
Source: ESPN.com
Jul 14 - 2:43 PM

USC sophomore RB Ronald Jones II was selected for the 2016 Maxwell Award watch list.

The award is given annually to college football’s best player. "The thing about Ronald, it's so funny that he doesn't even know, like, that he's this good," USC running back Justin Davis said last year. "Once he gets his head right and everything, he's going to be a future All-American." Well, Ronald, Justin is right. You're really freaking good. As a true frosh, Jones had a team-high 987 yards (a USC freshman rushing record) on 153 carries (6.5 avg) with eight touchdowns to earn a 2015 All-Pac-12 honorable mention. He chipped in seven receptions for 39 yards (5.6 avg) and another score.
Source: Fan Sided
Jul 14 - 6:29 AM

Four-star 2017 TE Erik Krommenhoek committed to USC.

"I loved my visit there, felt really comfortable with the players, with the school," Krommenhoek said. "The academics part of it is a big reason why I chose it and they have a great sports medicine program which is what I want to be when I grow up." While both of his parents are UCLA alums, they were in complete support of their son's decision to commit to the rival Trojans. ESPN notes that the 6-foot-5, 235-pounder's best attribute is his blocking. They believe that he actually has the potential to shift over to the offensive line if he adds the necessary weight.
Source: Rivals
Jun 28 - 3:25 PM

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah compared USC junior WR JuJu Smith-Schuster to former Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd.

"Trojan fans won't like this," Jeremiah wrote, "but I see a lot of former Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd in his play. Both guys have thick, muscular builds and play a very physical brand of football." CBS Sports' Rob Rang has comped the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder to another physical receiver, one Mr. Terrell Owens, while ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. believes Dez Bryant comparisons are warranted.
Source: NFL.com
Jun 25 - 7:18 PM

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah noted that USC junior WR JuJu Smith-Schuster is "not efficient with his footwork at the break point when he's working back downhill."

Jeremiah absolutely loves Smith-Schuster's physicality, his aggression and his blocking. He oozes those positives. Still work to be done, though, and the analyst offered a few points of emphasis for the 6-foot-2, 215-pound wideout. In addition to lowering his hips to improve his footwork when working back toward passes, he could stand to improve on his drops. Jeremiah doesn't see concentration as a crippling deficit in Smith-Schuster's game, just an aspect in which there remains room for improvement.
Source: NFL.com
Jun 25 - 4:30 PM


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