Friday, February 17, 2012
Cody Temple switches from OG to DT
By Pedro Moura
USC's Cody Temple was all set to commit to Nevada as a defensive tackle back in November 2010, planning to call the Wolf Pack after school one day at Liberty High in Bakersfield and inform them of his plans.
Then his father picked him up and told him he had a phone call to make. And so he did, and found USC associate head coach John Baxter on the other end of the line. On the other end, in Los Angeles, Baxter soon passed the phone to Lane Kiffin, who offered the 6-2, 280-pounder a scholarship as an offensive lineman.
Temple, raised a USC fan, accepted immediately, signed in February of last year and served quietly on the scout-team interior offensive line throughout the 2011 season while using his redshirt year.
Then, Thursday, Kiffin called Temple into his upstairs office at Heritage Hall. He and Ed Orgeron had talked, Kiffin told Temple, and they decided that they wanted him on the defensive line again. There was less depth there than there was on the O-line, Kiffin said, so it made more sense for the team and the player.
Temple obliged, again immediately, beginning his new adventure in a Thursday conditioning session with his teammates as members of the USC coaching staff observed.
"It doesn't really matter where they put me," Temple said afterward. "Whether I was offense or defense I was gonna make sure I was on the field one way or another."
With Temple as a center/guard, there would have been 15 offensive linemen on the USC roster for five starting spots compared to four defensive tackles for two starting spots. The move makes sense, and he realizes that.
He'll compete with Antwaun Woods and J.R. Tavai for time at nose guard while Christian Heyward backs up George Uko at the three-technique.
"We were looking at nose guard because it looks a little bit light and seeing what I can do to help out," Temple said. "We discussed it -- getting on the field the earliest I could and helping out the guys."