A few USC-related news on this Wednesday:
To start it off, high school junior quarterback Cody Kessler (Bakersfield, Calif./Centennial) committed to USC on Wednesday, becoming the second signal-caller in the Class of 2011 to commit to the Trojans after Max Wittek (Corona del Mar, Calif./Mater Dei) did so in April. Kessler told our Greg Biggins: “I’ve liked USC for a long time and it’s a dream come true to be able to play there. They have so much tradition and have been the dominant program in college the last six or seven years. I have a great relationship with coach (Clay) Helton and coach (Lane) Kiffin and the depth chart sets up really well when I get there and I think I’ll be able to come in and compete for playing time pretty early. Kessler plans to enroll early next spring, a la Matt Barkley, but will face tough competition come the fall of 2011 with three other scholarship quarterbacks — Barkley and Wittek, plus 2010 recruit Jesse Scroggins (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood).
In more football news, USC announced Wednesday that linebacker Jarvis Jones has been granted his release and will look to transfer. The release marks the end of an interesting sequence of events with Jones at USC, as the 6-foot-3, 234-pounder came into school nearly two years ago as a highly touted surprise commit and earned early playing time under then-coach Pete Carroll. Jones proceeded to sprain his neck against Oregon and sat out the rest of the season. On the eve of spring practice, Kiffin revealed to reporters that Jones' neck condition had not improved: “I’m not very positive about the possibilities of him playing here, at all," Kiffin said in late March. "I don’t know how to describe it from a medical perspective. There’s a serious concern that hits or a number of hits could lead to permanent damage. Obviously, Jarvis’ safety is the No. 1 issue.” Jones, a native of Columbus, Ga., was not cleared by the end of spring practice, and — although he was never officially ruled out by the university — was doubtful to suit up in a USC uniform again. Now, he is reportedly considering Louisiana State, Clemson, Florida State and Memphis.
Two golf tidbits: first, sophomore Jennifer Song was named Pac-10 Golfer of the Year on Wednesday after earning All-American honors this season. Song, who will leave USC to turn professional, finished fifth at the NCAA championships last month. She posted six top-five finishes on the year. Secondly, the USC men are currently tied for 16th at the NCAA championships in Chattanooga, Tenn., led by freshman Martin Trainer's one-under-par 71 in the second round Wednesday. The Trojans are a collective nine-over 585 after two days of play.