Sixteen USC football players and associate head coach John Baxter -- accompanied by the USC Song Girls and Trojan Marching Band -- made a trip to the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center on Monday to visit with a number of kids at the Children's Hospital.
With an off day for the bye week, the team spent a couple of hours visiting with children in the eighth-floor playroom and then splitting up and visiting children all around the hospital. A hospital spokesperson said the Trojans have been coming annually since Pete Carroll became the coach at USC. Current coach Lane Kiffin did not attend this year but kept the tradition going.
Cool sights: kicker Joe Houston teaching a 14-year-old how to throw a football when the preferred expert -- quarterback Mitch Mustain -- was in another room, receiver Ronald Johnson pretending to be "el novio" -- the boyfriend -- of a young Spanish-speaking girl as two Song Girls joked with her and tight end Jordan Cameron holding an infant while his mom smiled big and watched and hospital staff snapped pictures.
Among those who made the trip: Mustain, fullbacks Stanley Havili and Hunter Simmons, receivers Kyle Prater and Johnson, tight end Jordan Cameron, linebackers Shane Horton, Michael Morgan and Hayes Pullard, defensive tackles Christian Tupou and Derek Simmons, defensive ends Wes Horton and James Boyd, safety Marshall Jones and Houston.
Photos from the event are here, with a video showing some of the playroom activities and one-on-one video interviews with two of the players below.
Wes Horton, a redshirt sophomore defensive end, has missed the last three games because of an injured back after leading the team in sacks through four games. But he still went on the trip -- and seemed to enjoy it, too. He and Cameron had to be told to leave one young patient's room when the team was readying to depart.
See what Horton had to say about the visit:
Morgan was one of two captains to make the trip, with Havili also coming. See what Morgan said about the experience and what it meant for him -- and, more important -- what it meant for the kids:
See some of what the Trojans did with the children at the hospital in this quick video that takes you around the playroom: