USC 2017 Schedule Released

Sat., Sept. 2: Western Michigan at USC

Sat., Sept. 9: Stanford at USC

Sat., Sept. 16: Texas at USC

Sat., Sept. 23: USC at California

Fri., Sept. 29 USC at Washington State

Sat., Oct. 7: Oregon State at USC

Sat., Oct. 14: Utah at USC

Sat., Oct. 21: USC at Notre Dame

Sat., Oct. 28: USC at Arizona State

Sat., Nov. 4: Arizona at USC

Sat., Nov. 11: USC at Colorado

Sat., Nov. 18: UCLA at USC

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USC Morning Buzz: It’s Elite Players That Define A Recruiting Class

JUJU.NOTRE.DAME.FANS

I mentioned yesterday there are a concerning number of three-star (and one two-star) commits in USC’s current recruiting class (eight).

That said, what often makes a recruiting class is the performance of a handful of players. And this is where what happened since the Rose Bowl is significant: Adoree Jackson was the No. 1-ranked “athlete” by Rivals.com. Damien Mama was the No. 1-ranked offensive guard. JuJu Smith-Schuster was the No. 2-ranked wide receiver.

Now I’ve been more critical of Mama’s performances this season than anyone else in the media, but the fact is he was a three-year starter. You can say Chris Brown started over Mama in the Alabama game. But where was he after that? The coaches barely played him.

This is why it is so critical USC land a few players in two weeks, like offensive tackle Austin Jackson and wide receiver Joseph Lewis. Those five-stars really do matter.

Meanwhile, Washington QB Jake Browning underwent shoulder surgery underwent surgery on his throwing shoulder. Now it should be noted the Seattle Times reports the injury occurred after the USC game, so it does not explain Browning’s performance against the Trojans.

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Coliseum Gets Olympic Shaft

COLISEUM.2024Remember how the “historic” Coliseum and Exposition Park were the center piece for the 2024 Olympic bid? Well, it now turns out the Opening Ceremony would be held at the new Rams stadium in Inglewood while fans could go to the Coliseum and watch mainly on large screens. The venues would flip roles for the Closing Ceremony but who really pays attention to that?

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Shrine Game Update

Three USC players — RB Justin Davis, TE Taylor McNamara and S Leon McQuay — were picked to play in the Shrine Game. But Davis is not expected to play because of an ankle injury.

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Who Replaces Adoree?

ADOREE.FLIPI wrote back in December that USC lacked a game-changer if Adoree Jackson went pro. Now there are candidates like tailback Ronald Jones. But he averaged 2.8 yards per carry in the Rose Bowl so he is still inconsistent at times. No one is going to score four touchdowns on punt/kick returns next season. So that aspect is gone.

I still think the secondary is a major question. Whoever replaces Jackson is going to be tested a lot. Jackson allowed seven touchdown passes last season but he still was a solid cornerback. Can Jack Jones replace him? Perhaps. But why did the coaches use him so sparingly after Clay Helton gushed he could be the next Jackson on Signing Day. He needs to make a sizeable leap next season. So would anyone else, for that matter, whether it’s Jonathan Lockett or Ajene Harris.

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Player Spotlight: David Webb

DAVID.WEBB.1992Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

David Webb was an undersized defensive end known for his big heart and the racoon-like eye black he wore at USC games. He was also popular with teammates and coaches and memorable to any USC fans in the early 1990’s.

A friend of Webb’s emailed that David is currently in the battle of his life with cancer. If you are a USC fan, consider posting a few words of encouragement for David and his family. If anyone would like to help David or his family, you can contact me (scott.wolf@langnews.com) and I will pass along the information.

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USC Morning Buzz: Some Recruiting Numbers To Ponder

USC has 62 players on scholarship, which means the Trojans can sign 23 players on Signing Day, which is Feb. 1. With 17 commitments (another three-star, offensive tackle Jalen McKenzie, committed Monday), the Trojans have six spots left.

They can still put together a top-five class according to the recruiting pundits. But eight of the 17 commitments are three-stars or two stars (seven three stars, one two stars). That seems odd. So apparently some five-star players should commit by Signing Day (like wide receiver Joseph Lewis, offensive tackle Austin Jackson) but I wonder what the bottom 10 players of the class will contribute? Some will despite the three-star ranking. Others will disappear.

But . . . how many will play? I randomly picked the year 2014 and checked USC’s three stars: Jalen Greene, Don Hill, John Plattenburg, Ajene Harris, Uchenna Nwosu, Malik Dorton, Jordan Austin and Lamont Simmons.

Hill and Simmons are no longer on the team. Nwosu is a starter. In 2-3 years, how many 3-stars will playing from the 2017 class?

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