March, 3, 2010
By Pedro Moura | ESPNLosAngeles.com
The NFL combine ends in Indianapolis, a baseball win in Long Beach and previewing Thursday's matchup with Arizona State. All in Tuesday's links and notes:
- Controversy over the 40-yard dash time of USC safety Taylor Mays highlighted the final day of the NFL combine in Indianapolis. Mays' unofficial time was first reported by NFL Network to be a 4.24 — which would tie Chris Johnson's 2008 time as the best of the past 10 years. But Mays' official time came back a 4.43, making for an almost unheard-of discrepancy between unofficial and official times. Either way, Mays' time was tops among all defensive backs. Other stats for Mays: 24 reps of 225 pounds and a 41-inch vertical. Defensive end Everson Griffen also recorded an impressive 4.66 time in the 40.
- More football news: Chris Kiffin has been hired as a defensive administrative assistant for his brother at USC, sophomore linebacker Jarvis Jones is not yet cleared for spring practice, and the new USC coaching staff worked with its players for the first time today. The workout was one of six allowed by the NCAA before spring practice, which begins for the Trojans on March 30.
- The Arizona Republic's Doug Haller reports Arizona State, USC's opponent Thursday night, struggled against California on Saturday — and struggled so much that it reminded the Sun Devils of their 47-37 loss to the Trojans in January. From Haller's weekend rewind: "U is for USC, which Derek Glasser said is the only previous game he could remember when ASU's big guns -- Abbott, Rihards Kuksiks and himself -- couldn't hit an outside shot. 'When that happens, we got no shot at winning,' he said."
- In baseball, USC beat the Dirtbags of Long Beach State 10-5 in Long Beach late Tuesday. In a practice only seen in college baseball, coach Chad Kreuter switched around his order to put his power hitter — sophomore Ricky Oropesa — leading off and his contact hitters batting second and third. Kreuter told me before the season he was considering batting Oropesa first everyday, because of the chance to get him an extra at-bat. Tuesday's lineup change didn't net Oropesa that at-bat, but the first baseman did go one for four with a walk and a home run. Alex Sherrod and Ashton Kent also homered as part of a seven-run third inning for the Trojans.
- And lastly, former Trojans Matt Leinart and Ryan Kalil will appear at a presentation Wednesday just off campus at the USC Catholic Center. The 5:30 p.m. program, titled "Giving It All On and Off the Field," is free to those who e-mail their reservation to email@example.com or by calling (213) 749-5341.