Player News


USC five-star 2018 verbal LB commit Palaie Gaoteote is taking an official visit to Ohio State this weekend."

Gaotote has been committed to USC in February, but the 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker will take a visit to Columbus. He's currently rated the No. 1 inside linebacker and 13th overall in the 247 composite rankings. He recently stated that he may take all the way up to the signing day in February before he makes his decision.
Dec 7 - 8:55 PM

One NFC personnel member was turned off by USC redshirt sophomore QB Sam Darnold due to his "loopy motion" and "bad face."

That's a new one. The quote derives from Charles Robinson's recent piece and places the conversation back in June, but we are amazed a person paid to evaluate for an NFL team focuses on a player's "face," concluding with "overrated" and "you can have him." In terms of actual football criticisms, Robinson goes on to cite scouts' concerns about Darnold wanting to force big plays by leaving the pocket too early. Be sure to check out the full piece below.
Source: Yahoo
Dec 7 - 10:21 AM

ESPN's Mark Schlabach reports that USC OC Tee Martin will not be accepting a role on Tennessee's staff.

The Volunteers are reportedly close to hiring Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt as their next head coach, but it looks like Martin won't be joining their staff. Per Schlabach, while he was contacted by Tennessee AD Phillip Fulmer, the two sides never reached the interview stage of the equation. The former Vols quarterback has developed into a top-flight recruiter and is coming into his own as an offensive coordinator. USC HC Clay Helton has referred to him as "the next Mike Tomlin." We would not be surprised to see Martin land a head-coaching position in the next season or so.
Dec 6 - 10:49 PM

USC redshirt freshman DT Liam Jimmons will not be charged for his allegedly assaulting a fan in Pullman after USC lost to Washington State on September 29.

Jimmons (6'4/285) was filmed appearing to punch a fan after the Wazzu faithful rushed the field following their upset of the Trojans at the end of September. While Washington State police recommended a second-degree assault charge be levied against the redshirt freshman, that will not be occurring. He's been disciplined internally by the team.
Dec 5 - 7:29 PM

Following Friday's Pac-12 Championship Game win over Stanford, USC AD Lynn Swann said that the team will "keep" HC Clay Helton.

This was more or less a foregone conclusion to the point where Swann didn't really have to say anything, but we'll never turn down a little clarity. Helton has had a few rocky moments at USC, but went 11-2 this season after turning in a 10-3 record a year ago. Now, if the Trojans aren't able to crash the Playoff party in the next season or two, we might have to revisit this conversation.
Dec 3 - 1:47 PM

USC sophomore WR Michael Pittman caught seven passes for 146 yards and a touchdown in Friday's 31-28 Pac-12 Championship Game win over Stanford.

Heck of a time for a breakout game by Pittman, who had entered Friday's action having made just 13 grabs for 189 yards and a touchdown. He nearly doubled up on all three of those numbers in the title game alone. It was Pittman who may well have helped spring USC for the victory, as he hauled in a 54-yard pass from Sam Darnold -- who was throwing out of his own end zone -- midway through the fourth quarter to help fuel the team's final point-scoring drive of the contest. USC will now cross their fingers for chaos on Saturday as they cling to Playoff life. They were ranked 10th by the committee as of the latest release on Tuesday.
Dec 2 - 12:04 AM

USC junior RB Ronald Jones II rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries in Friday's 31-28 Pac-12 Championship Game win over Stanford.

Jones (6'0/200) notched a one-yard touchdown run in the closing minutes of the third quarter to give USC a 24-14 advantage. Stanford would rally back to within three points, only for Jones again to burn them on a race-to-turn-the-corner touchdown of eight yards with just over four minutes remaining in the game. That put USC up 31-21 and while Stanford did find the end zone again, they ultimately ran out of possessions as the Trojans came away with the close victory. For the campaign as a whole, Jones has rushed for 1,486 yards and 18 touchdowns. He's developed into the dynamic workhorse that he's always shown signs he could be.
Dec 1 - 11:47 PM

USC redshirt sophomore QB Sam Darnold completed 17-of-24 passes for 325 yards and two touchdowns in Friday's 31-28 Pac-12 Championship Game win over Stanford.

This was as good as Darnold's looked all season. He showed off his NFL tools in spades, zipping passes into narrow windows and hitting on multiple downfield chunk tosses. None were bigger than the throw he made out of his own end zone midway through the fourth quarter after USC made a fourth-down goal-line stand to get the ball back. On the play, Darnold was working in a tight pocket and stepped up -- into contact -- to rifle a 54-yard completion to Michael Pittman, who was running wide-open down the middle of the field. The team would eventually cap off the drive with a Ronald Jones touchdown run. While the Trojans remain unlikely to make the Playoff even with their newly minted Pac-12 title, Friday's game was a splendid reminder of what makes Darnold so enticing as an NFL prospect.
Dec 1 - 11:41 PM

USC four-star 2018 verbal LB commit Bo Calvert took an official visit to Utah over the weekend.

Calvert (6'5/215) enjoyed his time in Salt Lake City, but remains entrenched with the Trojans. While he could potentially take some other visits over the next two months, the Westlake Village, California, native does not currently have anything on the docket outside of a likely visit to USC in January. Rivals ranks Calvert as the No. 218 overall prospect in the 2018 cycle. He possesses a quick pair of feet and plenty of instinctual chops, with functional strength and pad level two areas he'll need to focus on as he transitions into the collegiate ranks.
Source: Rivals
Nov 28 - 10:09 PM

USC HC Clay Helton said that junior OLB Porter Gustin (toe) is unlikely to be healthy enough to play in Friday's Pac-12 Championship Game against Stanford.

"With the toe I don’t think he’s going to be able to practice this week. I think we have a better opportunity (for him to come back) in a bowl game," Helton said. Gustin (6'5/260) has missed eight games this season due to the broken toe he suffered in a Week 2 win over Stanford. He's also been rehabbing from a torn right biceps muscle, though that has not caused him as much anguish as the toe. Gustin is currently sporting a plaster cast on his right foot.
Nov 28 - 6:04 PM

USC redshirt sophomore QB Sam Darnold says he did not specifically name the Browns as a team that would make him consider declaring or staying in school for the 2018 season.

This is being written as refuting a report, but the initial comment from Albert Breer was twisted. Breer only stated that Darnold would take into account who has the No. 1 pick, which is smart. There remains plenty of talk that Darnold will remain in school.
Source: OC Register
Nov 28 - 11:19 AM

Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline was told by one evaluator that USC redshirt sophomore QB Sam Darnold possesses physical skills that are "Hall of Fame caliber."

Scouts from a multitude of NFL teams were on hand for this past Saturday's big showdown between USC's Darnold and UCLA's Josh Rosen. Writes Pauline of Darnold, "His arm strength, foot quickness and ability to pull a rabbit out of the hat when there is seemingly nothing available was incredibly impressive to scouts." Scouts were also keen on Darnold's ability to bounce back from mistakes. As for a few demerits, Pauline notes that the redshirt sophomore still has much work to do on the fronts of "technique, ball security and defensive reads." The consensus among the analyst's little scouting birds is that Darnold would be well-served by returning to USC next season.
Nov 22 - 7:01 PM

USC senior LB Uchenna Nwosu accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl.

Nwosu (6'2/240) has broken out in a big way this fall, posting 6.5 sacks and 13 pass breakups. As's Daniel Jeremiah wrote last month, Nwosu can "bend the edge" and deploy a "nifty inside counter move." He has also shown a preternatural knack for batting down passes at the line.
Source: Senior Bowl
Nov 21 - 12:29 PM

USC redshirt sophomore QB Sam Darnold completed 17-of-28 passes for 264 yards with an interception along with a rushing touchdown in a 28-23 victory over UCLA on Saturday.

If you were going to guess who the presumed top quarterback pick was based on who played better in this game, you'd probably take Rosen over Darnold. That's not to say that the 6-foot-4, 220-pound signal-caller played terribly, and he still showed off his underrated athleticism and properly rated arm strength. He just didn't have great timing tonight, and wasn't able to get the ball into the end zone. This is leaps and bounds better than he was playing earlier in the season, however, and you can say the same thing about USC. They're headed to the Pac-12 championship in two weeks.
Nov 19 - 12:12 AM

USC junior RB Ronald Jones II scored twice and ran for 122 yards on 28 carries in a 28-23 victory over UCLA on Saturday.

He also added a 22-yard catch. Jones II (6'0/200) didn't have the monster game many expected going up against the porous UCLA run defense, but it was certainly a solid effort from the junior tailback. It's now three of four games that Jones II has scored multiple touchdowns, and he's now up to 16 on the season. With all due respect to Sam Darnold and the slew of talented wide receivers, Jones II is the key cog in the USC offense. They get a bye before playing in the Pac-12 championship game in two weeks.
Nov 19 - 12:00 AM

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