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Sunday, August 21, 2011
Two walk-ons awarded scholarships

By Pedro Moura

USC coach Lane Kiffin handed out scholarships to two walk-ons in team meetings Saturday night: receiver Robbie Boyer and linebacker Will Andrew.

Both players had been in the program for the last two seasons; Boyer joined the team in the fall of 2008, a semester before his cousin, quarterback Matt Barkley, and has logged time in three games since. Andrew made his debut as a reserve middle linebacker last season behind Chris Galippo after impressing with his big-play ability in practice.

"We had an opportunity to do something pretty special, and, so, last night, in a team meeting, we were able to do that," Kiffin said Sunday after the Trojans' scrimmage at the Coliseum. "Those guys were very deserving. There's others, too, that are very deserving, but you can't give them to everybody."

Two other current scholarship players for the Trojans began their careers as walk-ons: cornerback Tony Burnett and guard Abe Markowitz. Both Burnett and Markowitz started at their respective positions Sunday.

Following a similar practice as the presentations for Burnett and Markowitz, Kiffin first scolded his team in an evening meeting, arranged it so only Boyer and Andrew were left standing in the auditorium and then singled them out for solid camp performances.

He closed the interlude by announcing that both had received full scholarships.

"We're proud of those guys, and it's really neat when you see those things happen, when you see the team's reaction," Kiffin said. "These guys work just as hard as the scholarship guys the whole time they've been here and, now, all of the sudden, they get to have the same benefits."

USC now has 81 players on scholarship, which would appear to put it in bad shape for impending scholarship limits next season. It's worth noting, however, that Boyer's and Andrew's awards are both technically on a one-year basis -- as is true with all college scholarships, but especially in situations such as these.