Leaner Offensive Line

New offensive line coach Bob Connelly said he wants all three true freshmen starters from last season (Toa Lobendahn, Damien Mama, Viane Talamaivao) to lose weight.

“We’re going to work on leaning them up,” Connelly said.

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USC Tight Ends List

Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick

Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick is currently the only scholarship tight end in spring practice. USC signed Tyler Petite last month. And there’s talk linebackers Porter Gustin and Osa Masina could play the spot. So it’s obviously the position of need for the Trojans now.

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Bryce Dixon Dismissed From Team

DIXON.REALUSC tight end Bryce Dixon was dismissed from the team today because of the previously mentioned student-conduct issue. The incident involved a USC female student. Dixon was brought back after being suspended for the Cal game but then came today’s news, so obviously the matter was not settled.

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That’s USC Professor Petraeus For Those With Short Memories

David Petraeus

One of the big stories today is that former CIA director and Army general David Petraeus agreed to plead guilty to mishandling classified materials. A possible penalty is a year in prison, $100,000 fine and five years probation.

Petraeus is also the “Judge Widney Professor” at USC’s Price School of Public Policy. Though few will probably mention that today.

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Former USC Assistant Shawn Slocum Returns To Pac-12

Arizona State hired Shawn Slocum to coach special teams and outside linebackers. Slocum was a USC assistant under Paul Hackett and his father, R.C. Slocum, was defensive coordinator at USC and head coach at Texas A&M. Slocum got fired by Green Bay after the botched onside kick recovery against the Seahawks.

Two interesting things here: ASU coach Todd Graham said he wants to improve his special teams, something many teams struggle with (including USC). And Graham does not hesitate to make changes. He moved defensive ends coach Paul Randolph into an administrative role when he hired Slocum and remember he fired current USC offensive line coach Bob Connelly two years ago.

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Pac-12 Tournament Watch

If USC loses to UCLA on Wednesday night (as expected), the Trojans are likely to play Stanford in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament. That is probably good news for Andy Enfield. USC had two close losses against Stanford and it means he would not face UCLA a third time and second game in a week with the Bruins.
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Player Watch: Jalen Cope-Fiztpatrick

Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick was expected to contribute last season but was academically ineligible. His value is even greater now as the only scholarship tight end in spring along with Bryce Dixon, who was more of a receiving tight end than blocker last season.

Cope-Fitzpatrick requires a lot of reps in spring because he will be needed next season especially if the true freshmen like Tyler Petite require time to adjust.

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