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USC suspended sophomore LB Osa Masina for the season-opener against Alabama due to a violation of team rules.

No further word as to what got Masina into hot water here. The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder lost out on a starting gig to Michael Hutchings during camp this month. Consider this a temporary depth loss (those are not good when you are facing Alabama). A year ago, Masina registered 25 tackles (1.5 for loss). A hamstring injury forced him to miss two contests in 2015.
Aug 30 - 1:48 PM

USC redshirt senior T Chad Wheeler will not start the season-opener against Alabama due to a foot injury.

Wheeler has been battling plantar fascitis during August camp. While HC Clay Helton hopes that the 6-foot-7, 280-pounder will at least be able to play a series or two against the Crimson Tide, he isn't banking on extended work. Chuma Edoga will start at left tackle in Wheeler's place.
Aug 30 - 1:29 PM

USC head coach Clay Helton named sophomore Chuma Edoga the starting LT for Saturday's game against Alabama.

The Crimson Tide's arsenal of pass rushers will be a very difficult test for the sophomore tackle, who started on the right side against Utah and Wisconsin. Longtime starter Chad Wheeler is dealing with plantar fasciitis and is not expected to see the field for many snaps. The Trojans offense has a new look at many positions, especially at quarterback with Max Browne.
Source: LA Times
Aug 30 - 9:22 AM

USC redshirt freshman QB Sam Darnold has no plans to transfer.

USC HC Clay Helton named redshirt junior QB Max Browne the starter on Saturday, but Darnold won't be pouting his way out of town. As part of USC's statement regarding Browne's ascension, the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Darnold said, "I have no desire to leave USC, this is the place for me." Helton indicated that while Darnold will be used in special packages to utilize his mobility, the Trojans have no current plans to make this a game-to-game competition.
Aug 21 - 2:16 PM

USC HC Clay Helton named redshirt junior QB Max Browne the starter for the coming season.

Browne was challenged and then some by redshirt freshman QB Sam Darnold throughout the spring and summer, but ultimately pulled away to win the starting job. And boy howdy, will he have a spotlight on him in Week 1. The Trojans open against Alabama on September 3 in what could be a spectacularly fun contest. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Browne has had to patiently wait for his chance behind Cody Kessler, but the upside here is off the charts. The former five-star recruit ranked as Rivals' No. 7 overall prospect for 2013. Now that he has been named the starter, he makes for an intriguing mid-to-late round selection for fantasy purposes, as USC's offense is loaded to the gills with talent.
Source: ESPN.com
Aug 20 - 6:46 PM

ESPN's Todd McShay notes that USC junior WR JuJu Smith-Schuster "does a great job of creating late separation when the ball is in the air, but his route running needs some work."

McShay writes that while Smith-Schuster doesn't necessarily have jets-to-the max, he is "silky smooth in the open field and does a very good job of weaving through traffic." The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder is an out-and-out fantasy behemoth for the coming season after catching 89 passes for 1,454 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2015. McShay ranks him as the No. 1 draft-eligible wideout in all of the land.
Aug 20 - 6:15 PM

Former USC HC Steve Sarkisian indicated that he is open to a possible return to coaching in the future.

"I love coaching. I love being around the game of football and Fox gave me an opportunity to be around it [as an in-booth analyst for 2016]." Sarkisian told TMZ, "and we'll see where it goes from there." He was fired from USC in October due to his alcoholism, but Sark is feeling good on a personal level, now, even if he doesn't exactly appear to be knocking down the doors for an immediate coaching return. "Just taking some time to focus on myself and do the things necessary in all aspects of my life, and been fortunate to have that time to do that and, then, feel really good," Sarkisian said.
Source: ESPN.com
Aug 17 - 12:24 PM

USC sophomore RB Ronald Jones II has been working to improve his pass-blocking during the offseason.

Jones spoke to the work of USC RB coach Tommie Robinson in helping him to round out his overall game. "He’s unlike any coach I’ve ever had. He’s strict. He’ll critique you on every little thing and make sure you do the job right," Jones said. "If you don’t, you won’t be on the field. It’s the small things. Like in pass protection, not to step up too far because the linemen are dropping back." Last season, the 6-foot, 185-pounder impressed as a freshman in racking up 987 rushing yards with a meaty 6.5 YPC average -- plus eight touchdowns scored. He and fellow back Justin Davis should provide the Trojans with plenty of fine groundwork in the coming season.
Source: ESPN.com
Aug 9 - 12:58 PM

USC junior WR JuJu Smith-Schuster left Friday's practice with a sprained right toe.

Trojans head coach Clay Helton said the injury is minor. Helton wasn't sure when Smith-Schuster would return to the field, but we'd expect to see him out there next week. Smith-Schuster went off for 89 receptions for 1,454 yards, and 10 touchdowns as a super sophomore.
Source: The Score
Aug 6 - 4:00 PM

USC earned a verbal commitment from four-star 2017 DE Hunter Echols.

Echols had been committed to UCLA, but backed off that pledge earlier this offseason. Looks like he will stick in the state of California -- just not with the Bruins. "I can get on the field fast at USC and then the education plus the alumni, what they can do for me off-the-field is just great so that was the main factor for us," said the 6-foot-4, 220-pounder. "I’m shutting it all the way down." Echols does not plan on taking an official visit to any school other than USC.
Source: Rivals
Aug 6 - 1:26 PM

USC received a verbal commitment from four-star 2017 T Alijah Vera-Tucker

Vera-Tucker was one of two four-star recruits to commit to USC on Friday. The other was DE Hunter Echols. The 6-foot-4, 270-pound Vera-Tucker is a "tremendous tackle prospect with unlimited potential," according to Scout.com's Greg Biggins. The analyst adds that the newest Trojan has "everything you could want in a future tackle including an athletic frame, very good feet, a ton of physicality and the toughness you have to have to compete in the trenches." Scout ranks him as their No. 166 overall prospect for the 2017 cycle.
Source: Scout.com
Aug 6 - 12:30 PM

USC HC Clay Helton indicated that he would name the team's starting quarterback on August 20.

This is essentially what Helton said at Pac-12 media days, too. Nothing has changed in the interim in the competition between redshirt junior QB Max Browne and redshirt freshman QB Sam Darnold. Following the opening of August camp, Helton said, "Today, both of them played well. I thought that they made good decisions. Just like it was in the spring, both are playing at a very high level." Coming out of the spring, Browne held a slight edge in the competition.
Source: ESPN.com
Aug 5 - 1:41 PM

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


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