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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 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."
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

USC senior OL Aundrey Walker might be losing his starting G spot due to a slow recovery from injury.

Walker is still working back from a fractured ankle which was suffered last November. "He’s not bouncing back the way we hoped," head coach Steve Sarkisian said Sunday. "He still feels pain. Our doctors have cleared him for activity. At some point, he’s going to have to make a decision — ‘I’m either going to push myself and go for it or accept the role I’m in.’ That decision’s going to have to come here pretty soon." The ball looks to be in Walker's court. He is a powerful blocker with plenty of talent. Freshman Toa Lobendahn is currently starting at left guard.
Aug 15 - 11:21 AM

Redshirt sophomore Zach Banner has been working as USC's starting RT.

Banner only played in two games last year before having surgery on both hips. The third year sophomore says his flexibility has greatly increased following the operation. The starting offensive stands as: redshirt sophomore Chad Wheeler at left tackle, redshirt freshman Khaliel Rodgers at left guard, junior Max Tuerk at center, freshman Toa Lobendahn at right guard and Banner at right tackle, as of this point.
Source: LA Times
Aug 14 - 12:22 PM

The Trojans announced that redshirt sophomore LB Jabari Ruffin tore a knee ligament in practice Sunday and will miss the 2014 season.

"This is very unfortunate news about Jabari, but I know he will rehab well and come back strong next year," said coach Steve Sarkisian. "And, I know our team will step up in his absence." The injury happened when Ruffin intercepted a ball and was tackled during the return. Moving forward, the Trojans will look to J.R. Tavai, Scott Felix, Quinton Powell and freshmen talent to fill the outside linebacker spots.
Aug 11 - 11:20 AM

Hawaii expects former USC QB Max Wittek to walk on to the football team, reports CBS Sports' Jeremy Fowler.

The Warriors, however, are "taking believe-when-see approach since Texas thing didn't work out," Fowler added. Wittek planned on completing his degree over the summer, but that process has been delayed until December. If he transferred to an FBS program prior to earning his bachelor's, Wittek would be forced to sit out a season of football to fulfill NCAA requirements. Some believe Wittek will be granted immediate eligibility as a graduate transfer at Hawaii, and join a competition with sophomore Ikaika Woosley and senior Taylor Graham for the starting gig. But that isn't assured: A newspaper on the islands reported last month that Wittek would need to sit out the 2014 season since he did not graduate from USC in the spring. "I feel great with coach (Norm) Chow," Wittek said last month. "He’s awesome. He’s been so helpful through this whole process."
Aug 10 - 1:57 PM

USC WR coach Tee Martin compared freshman WR Ajene Harris to Randall Cobb.

Like Cobb, Harris has experience at the quarterback position. Martin has experience with Randall Cobb as he coached the talented slot receiver at Kentucky. The comparison obviously is not perfect, as Cobb showed up to the Combine at 5'10/190 lbs, and Harris is listed at 5'11/180 lbs. If the position coach is already hyping Harris up there is a chance he contributes in year one.
Aug 7 - 10:03 AM

USC projected starting TE Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick has been declared academically ineligible.

USC head coach Steve Sarkisian announced the news on Monday. This is a huge blow, as the Trojans are down to only two scholarship tight ends: senior Randall Telfer and four-star 2014 signee Bryce Dixon. Telfer still isn't over a knee injury that has plagued him throughout the season, so USC may be forced to start a true freshman and pray he remains healthy.
Aug 5 - 3:08 PM

TFY Draft Insider Tony Pauline likes USC redshirt senior ILB Hayes Pullard's instincts.

"Pullard is a smallish prospect (more short than small) with growth limitations but a terrific pursuit linebacker with solid instincts," Pauline wrote. The 6-foot-1, 230-pound Pullard enters his senior year having made 39 career starts. He's recorded 282 tackles, 20 for loss. The inside 'backer runs a 4.73 forty.
Jul 28 - 12:19 AM

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