USC Safety Is `Fluid’ Position

I asked USC defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox what Chris Hawkins did to win a starting safety spot as indicated on the USC depth chart. And Wilcox quickly backed away from the depth chart.

“It’s a fluid situation,” Wilcox said. ”All those guys bring something different. We want to see who goes out (and plays) when the lights go on.”

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Morning Buzz: USC Report

In this episode, co-host Reid Silverman and I discuss freshman linebacker Cameron Smith starting his first game, Clay Helton taking over play calling, Steve Sarkisian and Adoree Jackson’s chances for a big start to the season.

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Did Clay Helton Turn Down Jobs?

Steve Sarkisian said Clay Helton turned down several jobs in the offseason and giving him playcalling was an incentive to stay. Helton said today he stayed because he’s known Cody Kessler for “seven years” including the two years he spent recruiting him. And he wanted to coach at USC post-NCAA sanctions.

You might remember Lane Kiffin said Helton turned down jobs at two “top five” programs in 2013 to remain at USC. But when I asked Helton about that, he laughed. So who knows if it was true.

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Pat Haden Speaks Again

Pat Haden gave his “State of Troy” for September today and addressed Steve Sarkisian’s situation. It is almost verbatim to what he said last night.

“Steve has discussed the counseling part of it, which he has already started. He has told me that it has been helpful, and he has approached it with an open mind,” Haden said. “I understand that some people disagree with my decisions, this happens all the time.”

It would nice if Haden also answered some questions from the media.

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USC Adds Another Blue Shirt

Does USC really need another blue shirt player, which takes a scholarship away from the following recruiting class? Today, the Trojans added punter Chris Tilbey from San Francisco City College. Tilbey is from Australia and uses the Aussie-style for punting.

But that now means five players are “blue shirts.” Is it more important to have those players now than signing a four-or-five star prospect in February? I think it depends on each case but if USC misses out on a big-time prospect because it did not have a scholarship, that’s an issue.
Continue reading “USC Adds Another Blue Shirt” »

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USC Morning Buzz: Pat Haden Explained His Decision

In the previous post, Pat Haden gave his reasons for how he handled the Steve Sarkisian situation. You can agree or disagree with his decision, as he said.

Just a couple points: If this was in the best interest of USC and Sarkisian, why was Kevin O’Neill suspended in a similar circumstance? Would a player get away with this without any kind of suspension? And most importantly, if medical professionals say a drug like Xanax was involved, shouldn’t there be some type of acknowledgement that it might not just be an alcohol issue?

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