USC Injury Update

Clay Helton said offensive guard Viane Talamaivao should be 100 percent by Aug. 8 after undergoing elbow surgery in the spring. Toa Lobendahn (knee) should be 100 percent for tomorrow’s first practice.

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Sam Darnold Embraces Stardom

Here’s my column on how easily Sam Darnold handled his newfound fame this summer, whether talking to kids at summer camps or being surrounded by reporters yesterday at Pac-12 media day.

“I’ve prepared my whole life for this, but I never knew it was going to be like this,” Darnold said.

I asked him about his thoughts on the NFL and he talked about how he wears No. 14 because USC simply issued it to him and he doesn’t really care about numbers.

Full story here

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USC Morning Buzz: Andy Enfield Offers A 7-Year-Old

Let’s see, Pac-12 media days just concluded and football opens training camp Saturday. But instead, Andy Enfield just set a new low by offering a scholarship to the 7-year-old brother of Marvin Bagley, according to Bagley’s father.

It’s viewed as a masterstroke in the incapable-of-shame world of college basketball punditry. And I’m sure USC fans think anything goes in the pursuit of Marvin Bagley. But a 7-year-old? Where will Enfield even be in 11 years? Still lifting logs with a smile on his face?

Remember when Pat Haden offered the sister of defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes a basketball scholarship? How did that work out?

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Clay Helton On E.J. Price

I asked Clay Helton why it took offensive tackle E.J. Price so long to transfer from USC to Kentucky.

“In E.J.’s case, there was some school work that needed to be done for eligibility,” Helton said. “I’m really happy for him to take the next step.”

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Justin Wilcox’s Return!

I saw a different side of Justin Wilcox at Pac-12 media days. Relaxed. More talkative. But when he speaks to the media, things still stiffen up. Here’s an odd exchange that sort of goes against what was known during the recruitment of Sam Darnold.

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Clay Helton On O.J. Simpson

At Pac-12 media day, all kinds of questions come up. Here’s one for Clay Helton about having O.J. Simpson back as part of the program.

“What the administration and the athletic department have said is, no, O.J. will not be part of our functions,” Helton said.

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Morning Buzz: Can Anyone In Pac-12 Unseat Favorite USC?

During Day 1 at Pac-12 media days, USC players and Clay Helton were not available, so I looked at the odds someone could surprise the Trojans, who were picked to win the conference.

As usual, it starts with stopping QB Sam Darnold.

“I would try to be disruptive,” said former Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti, who now works for the Pac-12 Network. “You don’t have to blitz. Just give different looks. Like stunts. You can blitz. Really, you just do anything you can do.

“I wouldn’t want to play (against Darnold).”

Full story here

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Noah Jefferson Not Transferring To Arizona

Remember defensive tackle Noah Jefferson? Sort of a defensive version of E.J. Price. Leaves team in September and then never returned. He announced he was transferring to Arizona.

Well, Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez said today Jefferson is not coming to Arizona. However, he did not rule out Jefferson eventually joining the team. Got it?

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