USC: Cyrus Hobbi

Spring battle spotlight: Center

March, 7, 2014
Mar 7
12:30
PM PT
When the Trojans hit the field on Tuesday to take part in the first spring practice session of the Steve Sarkisian era, competition will be the name of the game, as several players will vie for a host of spots that have been declared up for grabs by the new head coach.

And while much of the attention will naturally be directed at quarterback, where the incumbent Cody Kessler and rising second-year freshman Max Browne are slated to duke it out for the No. 1 role, it’s the fight up front -- for the starting center job left vacant by Marcus Martin’s early departure to the NFL -- that just might be the most crucial position battle of all.

After all, as everyone found out in 2012, when Khaled Holmes went down with an injury against Syracuse -- leaving the Trojans with an inexperienced Cyrus Hobbi to struggle in a loss to Stanford -- the fact of the matter is without a dependable performer at center to anchor down the line, the offense more often than not is going to have a difficult time moving the ball down field, no matter who else is in the lineup.

As such, one of the top priorities for new offensive line coach Tim Drevno this spring will be to unearth and groom USC’s next starting center.

Of course, filling the shoes of Martin – a 2013 All-Pac-12 first-team selection – won’t be easy, but the Trojans do have several promising candidates.

One player who will not be among those players, however, is Hobbi. It was recently revealed that the Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro graduate is no longer a part of the team.

[+] EnlargeMax Tuerk
Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY SportsMax Tuerk is likely to start somewhere on the USC offensive line. He'd be perhaps the safest choice at center.
That twist turns the competition into essentially a three-man race, with Max Tuerk, Khaliel Rodgers and Toa Lobendahn standing out as the primary contenders.

Tuerk, a junior, is the Trojans' most accomplished and versatile returning offensive lineman. Having started games at guard and tackle during his career, while also taking snaps at center last spring, he has the unique ability to slide in anywhere along the line. The big question with Tuerk, though, is where does USC need him most? With the graduation of Kevin Graf, on top of Jordan Simmons likely being relegated to the sideline this spring as he recovers from a knee injury and Zach Banner’s potentially limited status because of fall hip surgery, Tuerk looks to be a natural fit at right tackle. He lined up there as a starter against Oregon State last season. Still, if no one else steps up at center, he just might be the safest option there.

Rodgers, who arrived at USC as a member of the Trojans’ 2013 recruiting class from Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian Academy, spent his first season on campus learning the tricks of the trade as a member of the scout team. Generating a fair amount of buzz for his performance on the practice field while lining up primarily at guard, he’s a stout and powerfully built blocker who plays with a mean streak, and he would appear to possess all of the attributes needed to succeed at center. Still, no one will know for sure until he’s thrown into the fire this spring.

Lobendahn just arrived at USC this past January as an early entrant after a fantastic senior season at La Habra (Calif.). At 6-foot-3 and 290 pounds, he’s similar to Tuerk in that he has the ability to play just about anywhere along the line. At The Opening last summer, he took reps at tackle, guard and center, shining at all three spots while going up against the nation’s top high school defensive line talent. Possessing an exceptional work ethic to go along with a strong all-around skill set, there is certainly much to be excited about in Lobendahn. But as a green rookie just a few months removed from high school, is it too much to ask from him to step in and immediately contribute? Will he be able to meet the physical and mental demands of lining up at a position that holds so much responsibility right off the bat? Everyone will soon find out.

One more possible, although perhaps somewhat unlikely, candidate could be Giovanni Di Poalo. A fifth-year senior who has yet to make a real splash as a Trojan, he was listed as a backup center as a freshman, and again in 2012, but he seems to have settled in more at guard.

Viane Talamaivao is a highly touted member of USC’s recent recruiting haul who will arrive this summer, and he also could enter the discussion at center in addition to guard, but not until fall camp.

In either case, with the field of contenders who are already in the mix, there’s reason to believe that the battle for the starting center job just might be the real position battle to watch this spring. And with so much hinging on the potential outcome, it’s a competition that can’t begin soon enough.

Practice notes: Intensity without full pads

April, 10, 2013
4/10/13
7:32
AM PT
As the Trojans begin the final week of practices prior to the spring game it was shoulder pads and shorts practice on Tuesday. The team has been hit with injuries during the physical spring and, even though the load was lightened a little, USC coach Lane Kiffin was happy with the intensity.

“We really wanted to focus on keeping guys staying up today and that usually happens when we don’t go full pads,” Kiffin said. “I thought we were still able to have a physical practice.”

Highlight plays
  • From deep in his own end, Cody Kessler stood in the pocket against strong pressure and fired late to Nelson Agholor for 12 yards and a first down.
  • Max Wittek had his chance with the ball near his goal line and he found Victor Blackwell with a quick strike, and Blackwell put on the jets to race for a long touchdown despite valiant pursuit from Leon McQuay III.
  • Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick made a nice catch of a low-thrown ball across the middle from Wittek.
  • McQuay popped the ball loose from Cope-Fitzpatrick after a short catch.
Goal-line intensity

One of the most fiery drills of any practice is when the ball is placed inside the 5-yard line and the offense takes its shots at the end zone.

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Notebook: Cravens latest to injure knee

April, 5, 2013
4/05/13
7:17
AM PT
LOS ANGELES -- Injuries continue to be one of the big stories for the Trojans this spring as it was confirmed after practice that both George Farmer and Su’a Cravens will undergo knee surgeries.

The news was more dire for Farmer after Kiffin confirmed the earlier media reports of a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee, which will force him to miss the 2013 season. For Cravens, he has a torn meniscus in his right knee and will undergo surgery Friday. The injury is the same as the one suffered by Silas Redd. Cravens is expected to miss 4-6 weeks and will be back in plenty of time for fall camp.

Su'a Cravens
Garry Paskwietz/WeAreSC.comSu'a Cravens is the latest USC player to get dinged in spring practice.
“Whenever there is an injury you hope, like Su’a, that’s it’s not going to be a long setback,” USC coach Lane Kiffin said. “With guys like George, those are the ones you feel really bad for. A guy who battles back and was playing well and then to have this setback.”

The Trojans entered the Thursday practice session with 20 players out of action because of injury and two more left practice – Torin Harris and Cyrus Hobbi.

“I don’t see any way we could practice like this in the fall. We wouldn’t be able to play a game,” Kiffin said. “Of the 22 guys who ended up being out today, 18 of them are scholarship players. With the roster reductions we already have we would not be able to give up that many players. We will start fall camp practicing this way, but I don’t think we will end fall camp this way.”

There was some good news on the injury front as Marqise Lee returned, albeit in a limited role, after missing two-and-a-half weeks with a knee injury. Lee seemed to be running fine with no major issues but he was held out of contact team drills. Kevon Seymour and Jordan Simmons also returned to action.

“Marqise was back, which was obviously good to see,” Kiffin said. “He basically took part in the first hour of practice and we’ll add to him as we go.”

George Uko was out today and J.R. Tavai took his spot with the first unit at defensive end. During the final team drill, Aundrey Walker was out and Max Tuerk had moved to center with Hobbi out, so the first unit left side of the line was walk-on Nathan Guertler at tackle and Giovanni Di Poalo at guard.

Receiver shuffle

With Farmer out, that means opportunities for players such as Victor Blackwell and De’Von Flournoy along with first-year players Darreus Rogers and Steven Mitchell. Kiffin also made sure to note the high level of play from Nelson Agholor this spring when discussing the receiver group.

(Read full post)

USC spring practice report: March 12

March, 13, 2013
3/13/13
7:33
AM PT
As the Trojans begin the second week of spring ball sessions, they held a full pads practice on Tuesday without quarterback Max Wittek and wide receiver Marqise Lee.

Both players suffered knee injuries last Saturday prior to the Coliseum scrimmage that USC coach Lane Kiffin described as “not serious.”

[+] EnlargeSu'a Cravens
Erik McKinney/WeAreSC.comTrue freshman Su'a Cravens is already impressing during spring practice.
“It wasn’t one of our better practices,” Kiffin said. “This can happen in the second week, everyone is fired up to get going so they start well the first week but they came out today in full pads and it was hot so they need to learn to get through that. It had nothing to do with Wittek and Lee not being out there.”

Lee was fully dressed but did not participate in drills while Wittek was not in pads and he wore a sleeve brace around his right knee.

“I’ve got a sprained MCL,” Wittek said. “Nothing is torn, so that’s a positive, and it can’t get any worse so it’s just a matter of pain tolerance to when I can return. I’m rehabbing 2-3 times a day and if I can’t get back by the end of the week, I should be fine to go when we get back from spring break. You never want an injury but if it’s going to happen it’s good to happen now.

“The injury happened while I was holding for a placekick, kind of a silly way to happen. If there’s a bad snap again on a kick, if it’s not in a game I will probably get out of the way next time. But if the team needs me to be there, I’ll be there.”

MVP of the day: True freshman Su’a Cravens put together his best practice of spring with two interceptions and a key pass break-up, all against Max Browne. The first interception was an overthrown attempt by Browne to hit Xavier Grimble and Cravens simply played center field to get the pick. The second pick was an aggressive break on the ball by Cravens while the pass break-up came over the middle on a pass attempt for Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick.

“Su’a is a very special player,” Kiffin said. “He prepares so well, always soaking things up, watching film. He’s similar to Robert Woods and Nickell Robey in that way and both of those guys started from day one.”

Kiffin said Cravens is already at 220 pounds.

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Offense explosive in Thursday's practice

March, 8, 2013
3/08/13
11:45
AM PT
Lane Kiffin during his USC Trojans' loss to the Notre Dame Fighting IrishHarry How/Getty ImagesLane Kiffin is liking what he is seeing from his early enrollees in spring practice.

It’s easy to notice the upbeat style of play through the first two days of USC spring ball, and it was evident on Thursday with a team drill that featured some explosive plays from the offense.

The team drill started off strong for the defense, as the offense was backed up near its own goal line on the south end of Brian Kennedy-Howard Jones Field, and the defense had some stops, led by the interior front with Antwaun Woods, George Uko and Leonard Williams.

After the offense switched to the north end of the field, however, things began to change. Max Wittek hit Nelson Agholor for a short gain, and Agholor showed his burst of speed to outrun the secondary and make it a long gain. With the ball placed again deep in the offense's end, Silas Redd took a handoff and went 85 yards down the left sideline before being driven out at the 10-yard line by Kevon Seymour.

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How much was Holmes missed?

September, 18, 2012
9/18/12
5:59
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- USC receiver Robert Woods was asked after the Trojans practiced Tuesday if he was surprised they scored only 14 points in their Saturday loss to the Stanford Cardinal.

His answer was simple, direct and telling.

"We missed Khaled Holmes, the leader of our front," Woods said. "But we still have guys who can fill in, and we just gotta do better and play Trojan football."

Excusing the cliché in the final phrase of his comment, Woods' words have plenty of validity. Holmes' absence played in a role in USC's loss, but was it an even bigger role than initially realized? Would the outcome have been different if Holmes had started the game? It's impossible to know.

Coach Lane Kiffin has said this week Holmes will start against Cal on Saturday if he's healthy. Second in line would be senior Abe Markowitz, followed by freshman Cyrus Hobbi, who started against Stanford.

Kiffin said again Tuesday that Hobbi was put in an almost impossible situation against the Cardinal.

"Like I said right after the game, I don't care who it is, that's a hard job," Kiffin said. "Your first time really playing college football, you've got to go on the road against those guys -- we're not running the ball, so we're having to throw the ball a lot -- they did a really good job no matter who it was. In that game, people would argue that (the center was) the most important person you could miss in that game."

Offensive line coach James Cregg said he thought Hobbi did a great job considering the circumstances.

"I give him a lot of credit for playing his butt off," Cregg said. "It's the heat of the moment, and it's hard to practice that."

Markowitz said Tuesday he's healthy this week and will be ready to go against Cal if called upon -- not that he wasn't ready to go last week, when he almost was put in the game despite an injury suffered the previous week against Syracuse.

"I've been here just as long as Khaled and been in every meeting with him," Markowitz said. "I'm prepared. I'm ready to take snaps at guard or center."

Inexperience shows on USC offensive line 

September, 16, 2012
9/16/12
12:30
PM PT
If there was any position group that represented how this game went for the USC Trojans, it was the offensive line. The 21-14 loss to Stanford was a tough one for the team and that unit.

The line was missing its leader in senior center Khaled Holmes, who sat out the game because of an ankle injury. That’s a difficult situation to face, especially when the replacement is a redshirt freshman in Cyrus Hobbi who has only seen token reps in early-season games and the opponent is a physical group that likes to put a man directly over the center.

Matt Barkley
Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesMatt Barkley didn't have a good night in front of a patchwork offensive line.
There was also a left tackle in Aundrey Walker who was facing his first major test of Pac-12 conditions. The inexperience of both players ended up showing in this game, but they weren’t alone as there were issues all up and down the line with the more veteran players as well.

What went wrong against Stanford

September, 16, 2012
9/16/12
12:04
AM PT
STANFORD, Calif. -- To hear USC's players say it, there was no single thing the Trojans did wrong that caused them to lose Saturday's game to the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium.

"They played better football than us," quarterback Matt Barkley said when asked why USC lost.

"That wasn't it," running back Silas Redd said when asked if Stanford brought more pass rushers and pressure than USC anticipated.

"I don't think there's an answer," said linebacker Anthony Sarao. "If there was, we wouldn't have lost."

Oh, but there was. There most certainly was.

Because of poor play from their offensive line, the Trojans' biggest strength -- their elite passing game -- became below average in the second half of Saturday's game. The left side of USC's line was essentially a heavy turnstile for most of the game, with left tackle Aundrey Walker, left guard Marcus Martin and replacement center Cyrus Hobbi seriously struggling to stay in front of their opposition for more than two or three seconds at a time.

Asked if he felt he could have done anything differently on USC's final drive that ended in a turnover on downs, Barkley couldn't come up with anything.

"No," he said, shaking his head.

And so he wouldn't say it outright, but it was clear that he felt the offensive line wasn't at fault, too. If a quarterback does everything correctly and his receivers make the majority of plays presented them, drives don't end in failure.

But USC's final six drives -- taking up the entire second half -- all did. Because Barkley couldn't stay upright enough to deliver the passes he desired.

It wasn't a good performance for Barkley. But it's important to consider the offensive line play when looking his numbers: 20-of-41 for 254 yards and two interceptions, including 9-of-21 in the second half.

(Read full post)

Game-time updates: USC-Stanford

September, 15, 2012
9/15/12
4:32
PM PT
STANFORD, Calif. -- We're just about set to go here at Stanford Stadium for No. 2 USC against No. 21 Stanford. Here are some last-minute updates as we approach the 4:50 p.m. PT kickoff:
  • In true John Baxter fashion, USC backup kicker Alex Wood has switched numbers this week from No. 6 to No. 48 -- which happens to be the number that starting kicker Andre Heidari wears normally. Heidari did not make the trip to the Bay Area.
  • Center Khaled Holmes, who went down in the fourth quarter of last week's Syracuse game because of an apparent ankle injury, suited up and participated in warmups. He did not appear severely limited but was wearing a brace on his right ankle. Backups Abe Markowitz and Cyrus Hobbi were also snapping the ball in warmups.
  • Defensive end Wes Horton warmed up pregame despite missing the second half of Syracuse because of an unspecified injury. Fellow end J.R. Tavai, who also missed the second half last week, was not warming up with his teammates. It could really hurt USC to not have him against the Cardinal, considering he has proven adept at run-stopping in his USC career.
  • The weather at Stanford Stadium is a perfect 72 degrees, with temperatures set to drop into the high 50s by the second half. Fans began to pile in an hour and a half before kickoff.

We'll have extensive postgame coverage after today's game on ESPNLA.com.

Holmes and Horton, the two who got hurt

September, 13, 2012
9/13/12
7:49
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- Two of USC Trojans senior starters, center Khaled Holmes and defensive end Wes Horton, exited Saturday's game against Syracuse early because of injuries.

Their status for this Saturday's game against Stanford is unknown. Horton came out at halftime -- or, rather, after the hour-long halftime weather delay -- because of an unspecified ailment and Holmes was carted off the field in the fourth quarter because of an apparent ankle injury.

USC does not discuss injuries per a new policy instituted last month, and whether players practice on a given day cannot be disclosed by the media, per the policy.

But Trojans coach Lane Kiffin said Thursday that Cyrus Hobbi, the Trojans' backup center, has taken "some reps at guard and center" this week, as has senior Abe Markowitz, who was Holmes' primary backup last season.

"Cyrus has done some good things," Kiffin said. "So we have great confidence no matter who goes in."

Holmes started his USC career as a guard before moving to center in the spring of 2011, when Kristofer O'Dowd graduated. Kiffin said that has helped him be an asset to the team on the offensive line.

"Great leadership," Kiffin said when asked Holmes brings to the team. "Extremely intelligent player. I think playing guard early has helped him so he basically knows what everybody does."

Markowitz exited MetLife Stadium on Saturday with a sling on his left shoulder, but Kiffin said he has practiced this week.

Postgame notes: USC-Syracuse

September, 8, 2012
9/08/12
9:55
PM PT


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Here are notes and quotes from the USC Trojans' 42-29 win over the Syracuse Orange on Saturday at MetLife Stadium that won't make it into our other coverage from the day:

Woods makes a comeback

Robert Woods was explosive Saturday -- really explosive, the way he hadn't been in a while.

There was the diving catch that got called back because of a holding penalty on Marcus Martin. There were the 10 catches that stood, including two touchdowns, for 93 yards. And there was the electrifying 76-yard run on a reverse that got the Trojans right near the goal line.

Last week, in USC's season opener, Marqise Lee was the star. This week, it was clearly Woods.

"It does feel pretty good to finally make some explosive plays," Woods said afterward. "That's just what I want to do every week, and I'm just waiting for another opportunity to do it again."

On his second touchdown catch, in the third quarter, Woods fell on his right shoulder and reaggravated an injury from earlier in the game, when he was sandwiched among three Syracuse players and had his shoulder pad dented by one of them.

He said it was only a "quick pain" the second time around.

Some of the short screen plays from Matt Barkley to Lee that worked so well against Hawaii weren't working at all against Syracuse. So USC coach Lane Kiffin reversed course, and had Barkley target Woods again and again.

On the drive on which he hurt his shoulder the second time, Woods accounted for 39 of USC's 57 yards on four catches. He was the only player Barkley targeted on the eight-play drive.

"Robert really stepped it up today," Kiffin said.

The delay

Everybody found out about it at different times -- or not at all -- but some of USC's camp knew a severe weather delay was likely at some point Saturday.

Kiffin found out from a stadium official before the game that it was "probably going to happen," and Barkley heard the same thing from a referee on the field before kickoff, although he didn't inform his teammates. Both Kiffin and Barkley thought it would happen a little later, though, and Barkley thought the Trojans might even be able to finish the game before the thunderstorm came in over East Jersey.

They weren't. A couple of minutes after USC and Syracuse players returned to the field following an abbreviated halftime break with the Trojans up 14-3, play was halted and both teams were directed back to their locker rooms.

The delay ended up lasting about 70 minutes, with pouring rain falling on the field for most of it. USC spent some of that time preparing for the second half and some of it trying to regroup physically during an unusual situation.

(Read full post)

Taking a look at the depth chart

August, 27, 2012
8/27/12
6:11
PM PT
USC released its season-opening depth chart Sunday night. Here are our brief takeaways, position by position:

Quarterback

As expected, Cody Kessler and Max Wittek are still listed as co-backups to starter Matt Barkley. We should have a resolution soon, according to Lane Kiffin, who said Sunday he'd have something to say on the subject on "Tuesday morning."

For what it's worth, Kessler was listed first at the end of spring and Wittek was listed first this time. But they still had an all-caps "OR" in between their names both times.

Running back

This might be the biggest surprise on the depth chart.

Curtis McNeal was expected to be the for-sure starter heading into camp, and that didn't change much when Silas Redd was added just days before. McNeal has done very little wrong over the last few weeks, yet, somehow, Redd's listed as his co-starter on the depth chart.

As the third-string running back, D.J. Morgan cannot afford to fumble this season. A turnover or two and his carries will be going to redshirt freshman Buck Allen, who has improved in camp.

Fullback

Soma Vainuku is the starter here. There was never any doubt.

Freshman Jahleel Pinner is listed as the second-stringer, but it's likely he'll redshirt, so third-stringer Charles Burks is probably bound for the backup role. Walk-on Hunter Simmons gets on the depth chart after re-joining the team this year.

(Read full post)

Fall camp position preview: O-linemen

August, 2, 2012
8/02/12
6:05
PM PT
With the start of the 2012 USC football season drawing near, we’re doing position-by-position previews of the Trojans’ roster all this week. We began Monday with quarterbacks and continued Tuesday with running backs and Wednesday with receivers and tight ends.

Today, we will profile offensive linemen.

For each position, we’re starting with the current depth chart, going off the end-of-spring depth chart as released by Lane Kiffin, and discussing what needs to be resolved by Sept. 1.

Left tackle

1. Aundrey Walker, sophomore
2. Nathan Guertler, redshirt sophomore
3. Chad Wheeler, freshman

Left guard

1. Marcus Martin, sophomore
2. Giovanni Di Poalo, redshirt sophomore
3. Max Tuerk, freshman

Center

1. Khaled Holmes, redshirt senior
2. Abe Markowitz, redshirt senior
3. Cyrus Hobbi, redshirt freshman

Right guard

1. John Martinez, redshirt junior
2. Jeremy Galten, senior
3. Jordan Simmons, freshman

Right tackle

1. Kevin Graf, redshirt junior
2. David Garness, redshirt junior
3. Zach Banner, freshman

An offensive line depth chart is always a funny thing.

The backup at a given position might technically be the No. 2 guy there, like Guertler is at left tackle, but that doesn't mean he'd be the guy to come in if Walker got nicked up and had to miss a series. And the same thing goes for Di Poalo backing up Martin -- it's much more likely that Markowitz would be the short-term replacement than Di Poalo.

But, about the starters, there really isn't going to be much competition going on here. The interior spots are all solidified, and Kiffin and his staff seem pretty set on keeping Walker on the blind site. The only foreseeable changes would be a switch between Walker and Graf if Walker is underperforming, and maybe a move of Markowitz into the left guard slot if Martin is experiencing a sophomore slump.

Walker's offseason weight loss has been remarkable. He weighed around 375 pounds on his official visit to USC in the winter and then proceeded to slowly lose weight over the next year and a half.

In early June, he was 296 -- too light for what the Trojans' coaching staff wanted. So he's tried to gain back some of the weight since.

Even when Walker was a lot heavier last year, you could see the makings of a left tackle in his game. He has a wide body, his feet are quick and he has long arms. It also makes sense to keep Graf at the position he has a year of starting experience at already.

Other things to watch in camp include the development of Banner, the mammoth freshman listed at 6 feet 9 and 335 pounds. He's a redshirt candidate, along with the other three first-year freshmen, but he might have the best chance to play this year of the group.

Simmons' status is unknown, as a knee injury has prevented him from most team workouts since he arrived on campus earlier this summer. Wheeler, still a serious project, is almost a guarantee to redshirt although he enrolled in January.

We tackle defensive linemen tomorrow.

Trojans share Haiti experiences

May, 23, 2012
5/23/12
9:54
PM PT
Here are some of the more interesting stories that the 16 USC Trojans who trekked to Haiti last week to build houses have brought home to the U.S.:

Barkley speaks Spanish

Quarterback Matt Barkley recalled one of the more unusual experiences from the five-day trip with a big smile.

On one of the days, he spotted a local teenager with an old chalkboard in front of him and a textbook in his hand sitting down under a tree. At first, Barkley thought the kid was practicing Algebra, based on what he saw on the board. But as he walked closer he realized the 18-year-old Haitian was practicing Calculus -- "doing functions and all that kind of stuff."

Most of the Haitians didn't speak English, but there were interpreters translators available when the athletes wanted to talk to the kids. Barkley couldn't find an interpreter in sight, so he tried to strike up a conversation with him in English.

His English was spotty, so Barkley asked what else he knew. The teen said he knew Creole, as all Haitians do, as well as French, Spanish and a bit of English. Cue the conversation.

"We ended up talking for like two hours," Barkley said, "in Spanish."

"It was pretty tight."

How good is Barkley's Spanish?

"We both knew enough to understand each other," he said. "But the grammar was probably pretty messed up.

"If a Spanish speaker heard me talking, it probably wouldn't have pretty."

(Read full post)

More details on the Haiti trip

May, 9, 2012
5/09/12
12:27
PM PT
We wrote in April about Matt Barkley and his family's plans to bring several USC Trojans with them to Haiti this summer for a house-building trip in the earthquake-torn Caribbean country.

Those plans are ongoing, and the trip is nearing. Here's the updated list of players going and a brief itinerary of what the group will do in Haiti this month with Hope Force International.

The full list of participants includes Barkley, T.J. McDonald, Devon Kennard, Dion Bailey, Robert Woods, Khaled Holmes, Nickell Robey, Hayes Pullard, Kyle Negrete, Scott Starr, Josh Shaw, Cyrus Hobbi, Kevin Greene, Max Wittek, Cody Kessler and Luke Freeman.

The 14 players who originally planned to go are all still going, and McDonald and Bailey joined the group later. Barkley's parents and siblings are also attending.

They will leave at midnight on May 12th, so late this Friday night, meaning a few of the players walking in Friday's commencement ceremony will essentially be going straight from school to the foreign country. They return a week from today, on the 16th.

They're staying in the beachside town of Leogane, 20 miles west of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. Leogane was at the epicenter of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and had 80 to 90 percent of its buildings damaged.

The plan is to build four houses for four family in the small village of Sous Savanne and to visit an orphanage and school there and help out too.

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C. Kessler361236296820
RUSHINGCARYDSAVGTD
J. Allen1357855.814
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M. Lee5779113.94
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