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Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Joe Houston, Ross Cumming earn it

By Pedro Moura

The NCAA allows FBS teams 85 scholarship players.

USC had just 70 at the start of camp, leaving 15 spots to be allocated, or saved,  to make the assembling of future classes easier.

Miami transfer Thearon Collier got one and former walk-on offensive lineman Abe Markowitz got one, but that still left a hefty 13 available scholarships.

Two of those were filled Tuesday when USC coach Lane Kiffin announced during a team meeting that starting kicker Joe Houston and linebacker Ross Cumming would be awarded scholarships for the upcoming school year.

"Maybe the one positive thing about the sanctions is that we have plenty of spots right now," Kiffin said after Tuesday's practice. "It's great for those guys and for their families."

The news was first reported by USC quarterback Matt Barkley, who has evidently taken a liking to announcing the awarding of scholarships. He did the same when Markowitz earned his two days into camp.

Listed at 5 feet 8, 175 pounds, Houston transferred from a local junior college following his freshman season and spent three years as a walk-on at USC, backing up David Buehler and Jordan Congdon. This fall, he was in competition with scholarship punter Jacob Harfman for the placekicking job and beat him out with a solid camp performance.


Houston called Tuesday's news "a dream come true." Hear what else the 23-year-old had to say in a one-on-one video interview taken Tuesday: