Here Comes Cal

Word is that Valencia High cornerback Shane Vereen is strongly considering Cal, at the expense of Stanford. That leaves the Golden Bears, UCLA and USC. The Trojans got a late start on Vereen and I hear UCLA is confident it will land him.

Circle The Week

With freshman receiver Vidal Hazelton on campus and practicing with his teammates during summer workouts, it serves as a reminder of how important the second week of training camp will become. At the end of that week, it should become clear if Hazelton is certified by the NCAA Clearinghouse.

Near Tears

The emotional high point (low point) at the ESPYs probably occurred when former USC quarterback Matt Leinart talked about losing the Rose Bowl. Former tailback Reggie Bush appeared near tears. This would normally be where I might point out something about Leinart much to his fans dismay.
But I will refrain, because I just found out Leinart bought a bulldog puppy to live with him in Phoenix this season. Now thats a family member no one could object to.

Three Punters

Rob Taft of Fallbrook High and Greg Woidneck, formerly of Arizona State, were officially accepted into school and will join Taylor Odegard as punters. All three are currently walk-ons.

Davis Honored

Former USC tailback Anthony Davis will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame next month.
He lost 60 pounds last time I saw him following gastric bypass surgery. Hopefully he won’t be charging for autographs in South Bend at the ceremony.

Good As New

A week ago, Howard Jones Field was just a bunch of dirt. But no one would know that today, as new sod looks like it’s been in place for months. Of course, after about two weeks of training camp, the middle of the field will probably look like dirt.
At least this job looks smoother than last October, when the team was forced to practice on Cromwell Field because the sod was not properly laid.
Another sign that training camp is approaching: New carpet and paint in the football offices.

Football Fast

Every summer, there’s a freshman who impresses people with his performances in 7-on-7 drills. This year, it’s Long Beach Poly wide receiver Travon Patterson, makes up for his small size with speed.
“Some guys are fast but not necessarily football fast,” USC coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s just as fast on the field and his speed really adds something to our team.”

Back To The Band

Pete Carroll finally weighed in on the band’s move to the Sun Deck for next season’s football games.
“I think it will be a positive thing,” Carroll said, noting the band’s new location is supposed to make it louder and more accessible. “It’s supposed to be even better with the new sound system.”
Who knew high school bands occupied the prime position in the Coliseum all these years?
On a related note, a friend suggested that if the NFL renovates the Coliseum into a 68,000-seat facility, maybe the band could play outside and have the sound piped into the stadium.

P.S. Some in the athletic dept. are now suggesting band director Art Bartner proposed the move.

Basketball Addition

Colin Campbell, an 800-meter runner on the USC track team, is going to try to walk-on to the basketball team this season. Campbell, a 6-4 guard/forward, averaged 16.8 points at Ventura High and was the first four-year letterwinner in school history.
He redshirted last year in track because of an ankle injury.
Meanwhile, USC is taking a hard look at Fairfax point guard Ja’shon Hampton, who will be a senior next year.

Rave Review

Dr. Robert Watkins, who performed back surgery on quarterback John David Booty last spring, observed Friday’s workout at USC and gave a positive evaluation about Booty’s performance. All signs continue to point to Booty being fully recovered for training camp.