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USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler said he returned to school to win the national title.

"I didn’t come back to win a Heisman or be an All-American, as nice as those honors are," Kessler said. "I came back because I’m tiring of losing four games a year. I came back because I wanted to win a Pac-12 title, a national title. I really think this could be that year. We could be the team to do that." Reminded that Matt Barkley said just about the same thing a few years back, Kessler stressed that the Trojans were realistic about the work it will take to achieve such a goal. "How could we be [overconfident]?" he said. "The last two years have been ... humbling." Kessler boasts a pristine career 59-12 TD/INT rate. "It’s to the point now where everyone feels like it’s done," Kessler said of the adversity that defined much of his first four seasons at USC. "It feels like we’re back."
Jul 26 - 8:16 PM

USC QB Cody Kessler said he wishes USC sophomore WR/CB/KR Adoree' Jackson could play only offense, but acknowledged he's "being selfish."

This spring, Jackson rotated days practicing at receiver and cornerback. "And then after that, he was going out and winning the Pac-12 title in the long jump," Kessler said. "He’s ridiculous." The 5-foot-10, 182-pound Jackson's 100-meter time ranks fifth amongst college football players. "Because of Jackson’s potential impact on offense, defense and special teams -- he’s also an electrifying return man -- comparisons to do-it-all Heisman winner Charles Woodson are starting to surface," ESPN's Travis Haney wrote. "Kessler is the early USC Heisman favorite, but Jackson just might give him a run."
Jul 26 - 6:13 PM

Orange County Registers' Michael Lev believes it's "safe to say no one on the Trojans’ roster impacts more elements of the game" than USC sophomore WR/CB/KR Adoree' Jackson.

"He will start at cornerback, where he has the potential to be an All-American. "He’ll get somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 snaps per game at receiver, where he’s a constant threat to go the distance. And he’s an elite-level return specialist," Lev wrote. The 5-foot-10, 182-pound Jackson, a five-star recruit, averaged 29.7 yards per kick return with two touchdowns in 2014. At cornerback, Jackson recorded 49 tackles, 4 for losses, 10 deflections, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery, while adding 10 receptions for 138 yards with 3 TDs on offense. Jackson is USC’s first 3-way player in almost 20 years.
Jul 24 - 4:12 PM

OC Register's Michael Lev believes USC junior Su'a Cravens is the most valuable player on the USC football team, as he "can rush the passer, defend the outside run, drop into a zone or cover a receiver out of the slot."

"What makes Cravens the most valuable player on the USC football team is that there’s no one else quite like him. He’s part-linebacker, part-safety. He can rush the passer, defend the outside run, drop into a zone or cover a receiver out of the slot," Lev wrote. The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Cravens played a hybrid safety-linebacker spot for the Trojans last season, finishing the season with 68 tackles, 5 sacks, 9 deflections and 3 interceptions.
Jul 21 - 3:58 PM

USC redshirt senior DT Antwaun Woods "is a ball of muscle on the inside, capable of eating a double-team and occasionally overpowering a solo block," writes ESPN's Mel Kiper.

"He hurt his chest toward the end of last season but should be ready to roll in 2015," Kiper wrote. The draft expert grades Woods as the No. 5 senior defensive tackle prospect in the nation. We like what we've seen in flashes from the 6-foot-1, 320-pounder, but he disappears too much for our tastes. If his consistency improves, watch out.
Jul 20 - 9:02 PM

ESPN's Mel Kiper calls USC junior Su'a Cravens a "special talent."

"Want a remarkable stat? How about 17 tackles for loss out of a safety?" Kiper wrote. "That was Cravens last year, a big (6-1, 225), physical, guided missile who can also drop and drive on throws and display great hands when he has a chance to make a play." The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Cravens added 68 tackles, 5 sacks, 9 deflections and 3 interceptions last year. Kiper pegs Cravens as the No. 2 underclassmen safety prospect in the country.
Jul 19 - 7:11 PM

USC senior C Max Tuerk "proved to be a natural fit in the middle of the line, an agile blocker who is physical and is also capable of blocking on the move," notes Sports on Earth's Matt Brown.

"It's impressive that USC's offense had the success it did last year, given how young the line was," Brown wrote. "Tuerk was the most experienced player, and he's shown a ton of versatility throughout his career." Across his three-year career, Tuerk has started five games at left tackle, one at right tackle, three at left guard, one at left guard and 13 at center (all last season). Brown grades Tuerk as the No. 5 offensive lineman in the land. ESPN's Mel Kiper ranks him as the top senior center prospect.
Jul 19 - 4:05 PM

USC junior Su'a Cravens showcases "above-average physicality and aggressiveness" against the run, NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein observes.

"Cravens has average play speed for a player his size, but shows above-average physicality and aggressiveness when he's coming downhill after the running game," Zierlein wrote. Craven, who played a hybrid safety-linebacker spot for the Trojans in 2014, excelled at the position. The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Cravens finished the season with 68 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, 9 deflections and 3 interceptions.
Source: NFL.com
Jul 17 - 3:57 PM

USC sophomore WR/CB/KR Adoree' Jackson "needs to improve on his short-area transitioning after the throw, but I expect to see a great deal of growth from Jackson as a cornerback (and all-around playmaker) this season," writes NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein.

"Jackson is expected to man his cornerback spot while still taking on more targets at wide receiver, where he made 10 catches (three for touchdowns) as a freshman last season," Zierlein wrote. "Jackson is also one of the game's best kick returners." he 5-foot-10, 182-pound Jackson, a five-star recruit, averaged 29.7 yards per kick return with two touchdowns in 2014. Zierlein ranks him as the No. 6 defensive back in the nation. "While he's a little undersized, he can stay under the chin of his targets and crowd them on vertical routes," Zierlein wrote. "He's a willing tackler, too."
Source: NFL.com
Jul 16 - 6:59 PM

USC senior C Max Tuerk has made the watch list for the Rimington Trophy.

The USC prospect is one of the Trojans' most versatile lineman, with 33 career starts to his resume. Tuerk has 14 starts at left guard, 13 at center, 5 at left tackle, and 1 at right tackle. With that kind of positional versatility, he should be high on evaluators draft boards. ESPN's Mel Kiper believes Tuerk will be the top senior center prospect in the 2016 draft.
Jul 8 - 3:44 PM

ESPN's Mel Kiper ranks USC senior C Max Tuerk as the top senior center prospect in the 2016 NFL Draft.

"Tuerk isn't just a good center; he's arguably the most versatile lineman in the country based on his track record," Kiper wrote. "He's started at every spot on the line other than right guard (and he'd probably be pretty good there, as well)." The analyst ranks Nick Martin (Notre Dame Fighting Irish) and Mike Matthews (Texas A&M Aggies) Nos. 2 and 3, respectively.
Jul 7 - 9:04 PM

Per Sports on Earth's Matt Brown, USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler is "a smart, poised leader who distributes the ball accurately with impressive timing and rhythm."

"He's mechanically sound, and while he's not a runner, he has pocket mobility and keeps his eyes downfield in the face of pressure," Brown wrote. "At 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, Kessler won't wow anyone physically, but mentally he's ahead of anyone else in the country, and even if he doesn't have a huge arm, he's accurate anywhere on the field." The draft expert ranks Kessler as the No. 2 signal-caller in the land but noted an interesting stat. "In four games against ranked opponents, he averaged 6.6 yards per attempt with four touchdowns and three picks. In nine games against unranked opponents, he averaged 9.3 yards per attempt with 35 touchdowns and two picks," Brown wrote. " To compare, Marcus Mariota averaged 8.9 yards per attempt against seven ranked opponents last year." The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Kessler completed 69.7 percent of his attempts and threw for 3,826 yards (8.5 yards per attempt) with a 39/5 TD/INT ratio last year.
Jul 6 - 12:09 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter writes that "Googling the phrase 'low center of gravity' should bring up a picture" of USC redshirt senior DT Antwaun Woods.

The 6-foot-1, 320-pounder must show more consistency this year, but he's an intriguing talent. He skipped the Holiday Bowl after tearing a pectoral muscle last year, "but scouts saw enough of him during his second year as a starter on the nose to know that he can be the 'immovable object' to halt the 'unstoppable forces' known as NFL running backs," Reuter wrote.
Source: NFL.com
Jul 1 - 2:13 PM

USC senior C Max Tuerk "the athleticism to get to just about any block and he plays with well-rounded technique," writes NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein.

Zierlein was not initially impressed with Tuerk's work last year, but saw big improvements by the end of the year. "The first game I watched for Tuerk was against Stanford and their fire-plug nose tackle David Parry, and Tuerk was good but had to hang on for dear life at times," Zierlein wrote. "By the end of the season, Tuerk played with a great understanding of leverage and body control. There is no question that Tuerk has to add more weight and muscle on his frame, but he is as smooth as any interior lineman in the nation at securing his down-block and climbing to the next level. Big talent, but he needs to keep adding mass to that frame." The 6-foot-6, 285-pound Tuerk is versatile enough to play any position on the offensive line, a fact which will greatly aid his draft stock.
Source: NFL.com
Jul 1 - 12:47 PM

USC sophomore WR/CB/KR Adoree' Jackson is "potentially one of the best cornerbacks in the country [and] his role on offense could expand as well," observes Sports on Earth's Matt Brown.

"He's primarily a cornerback, but the Trojans are using him at wide receiver, with the hope that he's the next Chris Gamble/Charles Woodson type," Brown wrote. "Jackson is one of the best athletes in college football, and USC wants to get him on the field as much as possible." Brown says Jackson is the fifth-best corner in the NCAA. The 5-foot-10, 182-pound Jackson, a five-star recruit, was the Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year in 2014, posting 49 tackles, nine pass breakups, a forced fumble and four TFL. He also averaged 29.7 yards per kick return with two touchdowns.
Jun 30 - 2:26 AM


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