USC: Demetrius Wright

A look at the Pac-12's free-agent signings

May, 12, 2014
May 12
7:00
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There were 34 Pac-12 players selected during the NFL draft, but there will be more than twice that many rookies in NFL training camps this summer. Shortly after the draft ended, the dominoes started falling and those who went undrafted started signing free-agent contracts.

The following list of undrafted free agent signings, which was compiled from various announcements and media reports, could change in the coming days:

Arizona
Arizona State
California
Note: K Vincenzo D'Amato will reportedly attend Green Bay's rookie minicamp.

Colorado
Oregon
Oregon State
Stanford
Notes: S Devon Carrington (Pittsburgh) and LB Jarek Lancaster (Oakland) will attend rookie minicamps.

UCLA
USC
Utah
Notes: DT LT Tuipulotu will attend Green Bay's rookie minicamp and C Vyncent Jones told the Deseret News he will attend minicamps for Pittsburgh and Kansas City.

Washington
Note: S Sean Parker will reportedly attend Washington Redskins rookie minicamp.

Washington State
Note: K Andrew Furney will attend Seattle Seahawks rookie minicamp.

Five Trojans who have stepped up

November, 5, 2013
11/05/13
2:00
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As the Trojans continue to battle injuries while they prepare for the final stretch of the 2013 season, here are 5 players who have stepped up when called upon due to injuries to other players at their position.

[+] EnlargeDarreus Rogers
Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY SportsAfter missing a few games with injury, USC wideout Darreus Rogers has caught 12 passes in his last three games.
RB Buck Allen: There is no bigger example of a player rising up and playing a key role than what Allen did last week in the win over Oregon State. There were flashes from Allen earlier in the season -- as well as his solid performance in fall camp -- but it was still a pleasant surprise for USC fans to see him get 16 carries for 133 yards and three touchdowns in such a critical game. With Justin Davis out for the season with ankle surgery and Tre Madden battling hamstring issues, the Trojans might be relying on a whole lot more from Buck in the coming weeks.

WR Darreus Rogers: The freshman wide receiver had injury issues of his own early in the season but got healthy just as Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor both were hurting as well. In a two-game stretch against Notre Dame and Utah, Rogers had 11 catches for 122 yards and was a reliable mid-range target.

TE’s Nathan Guertler: Through the first three years of his career, Guertler was a little-used walk-on offensive lineman who was known for his rugged style of play. In recent weeks, however, the Trojans have found themselves with serious depth issues at tight end so Guertler has thrown on a new jersey with a tight end number and played well against Oregon State as an extra blocker.

OLB J.R. Tavai: After beginning this season as a backup to Leonard Williams at defensive end, Tavai was moved to outside linebacker when Morgan Breslin went down with a hip injury. Tavai responded with a pair of double-digit tackle games with his usual relentless motor and strength. It shouldn’t be a surprise to see Tavai have such success considering he has played both inside and outside on the line in his USC career, but it is still a bonus for the Trojans to have a player who can move seamlessly between both spots.

DB Demetrius Wright: The Trojans came into the season with great depth at safety but it has been tested with the move of Josh Shaw to corner, the redshirt season for Gerald Bowman and various injury issues for Dion Bailey and Su’a Cravens. Wright has stepped in as an experienced reserve and provided steady play along with some big hits. Interim coach Ed Orgeron has mentioned Wright multiple times as a key contributor in recent weeks.

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.

(Read full post)

Injuries continue mounting for USC

April, 3, 2013
4/03/13
7:13
AM PT
As the USC Trojans begin their fourth week of spring ball, it has become apparent that injuries are taking a toll, as 19 players sat out on Tuesday and two more left practice due to injury.

[+] EnlargeUSC's George Farmer made little impact during his freshman season.
Joe Andras/WeAreSC.comGeorge Farmer is waiting for an MRI after being carted off the field on Tuesday with an apparent left leg injury.
Both wide receiver George Farmer and defensive back Demetrius Wright were forced to depart the Tuesday practice early due to injuries and there was no word on their status at the end of the day. Wright was walking and appeared to be fine, but there was concern about Farmer, who had to be carted off the field after suffering an apparent left leg/knee injury during a non-contact drill. Results of an MRI for Farmer are expected on Wednesday.

“It was a very physical practice,” USC coach Lane Kiffin said. “I liked the defensive mentality at the end in the goal-line drill. It’s been a very competitive spring. It reminds me of the spring when we first got here. We need that to establish a competitive mindset.”

As Kiffin mentioned, the Trojans ended practice with a goal-line drill that got started with Hayes Pullard stuffing a run up the middle by Buck Allen. Justin Davis tried to slash into the end zone, but J.R. Tavai came across the line and knocked the ball out as he was bringing Davis to the ground, although Randall Telfer recovered for the offense. Davis did punch in a score at the end for the offense. There was also a little skirmish between a few offensive and defensive players after one play.

“It’s always a tough line between physical play and getting penalties with the goal-line drill,” Kiffin said.

Kiffin speaks with Enfield
Kiffin said he talked with new USC basketball coach Andy Enfield on Sunday night, prior to the announcement that Enfield had taken the job.

“I talked to him about the program and about working with Pat (Haden) and Max (Nikias),” Kiffin said. “I think it’s a great hire. He brings an exciting style of play and kids will want to play in that style. He’s also a guy who understands the academic side of being at a private school.”

Brady on campus
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady worked out on the USC campus Tuesday, throwing passes to his new receiver, Danny Amendola. Kiffin said it is common for NFL quarterbacks to use the USC facilities in the offseason, mentioning Philip Rivers, Drew Brees and Matt Cassel as players who had thrown recently on the USC field.

Highlight plays
* Anthony Brown knocked away a pass at the sideline intended for Nelson Agholor. Brown has put together a very solid spring while consistently in the lineup as one of the starting corners.

* A few plays later, however, Brown went for a pick on a rope thrown over the middle by Max Wittek and missed, allowing De’Von Flournoy to go for a long gain. Flournoy also had a touchdown later in the drill when he caught a pass from Max Browne and split the safeties with his speed.

* Victor Blackwell caught a short pass and got loose from Torin Harris with a nice shake move.

* Kevin Greene had a sack on Cody Kessler.

* Ryan Henderson had a pick off Kessler, who was trying to get the ball to Blackwell.

* George Uko had a nice play to move along the line of scrimmage in pursuit of Davis and hold him to no gain.

* Davis provided yet another dazzling touchdown run, this one a 45-yarder behind a block from Kevin Graf.

* Allen had a 20-yard gain down the left sideline thanks to Jahleel Pinner, who got one block at the line and then hustled down field to get another block.

* Browne hooked up on a 25-yard pass to walk-on Robby Kolanz on the right sideline.

Notables in attendance
Nico Falah, Steven Mitchell, Adoree’ Jackson, Dwight Williams, Chase Blakley

Injuries raise questions, provide chances

March, 20, 2013
3/20/13
9:39
AM PT
The Trojans are navigating through their share of injuries this spring. But at this time of year, as long as the injuries are not serious, they can offer a mixed blessing of sorts.

When one player is forced to sit on the sideline, it gives another player the chance for extended reps with the hope of showing the coaches he is ready for a bigger role. For the injured player, there is still plenty of time to return either in spring or in fall camp before the season begins. As quarterback Max Wittek noted after a recent knee injury, “you never want this to happen, but if it’s going to happen, better to have it happen now.”

[+] EnlargeRedd_Silas
AP Photo/Grant HindsleySilas Redd's knee injury opens the door for other USC tailbacks to impress this spring.
Wittek is perhaps the most notable USC injury right now, primarily because he is engaged in a battle for the starting quarterback spot. Wittek suffered the knee sprain on March 9 prior to a scrimmage at the Coliseum and has been out ever since. He is expected to return when the Trojans practice on March 26. Cody Kessler has played well with Wittek out and any small gains by either player can end up meaning a lot in a competition that is so close.

On the same day that Wittek got hurt, Marqise Lee also went down with a “minor” knee injury and has been held out as well. There isn’t as much of an impact here as Lee certainly isn’t in any competition for his starting job. If anything, his absence gave the other receivers a chance to step up and the overall group is doing well from top to bottom. Right now, Nelson Agholor appears to be the clear leader for the starting spot opposite Lee.

A recent loss came with the news that Silas Redd would undergo surgery this week for a torn meniscus. Redd is the established senior starter at tailback, but he has only been on the USC campus for eight months, so any time spent on the field was beneficial. Instead, Redd will be out until fall camp and the Trojans are further limited at tailback with Tre Madden still not cleared for full contact due to his knee rehab. That means the remaining spring practices will be huge for guys like D.J. Morgan, Buck Allen and maybe even Justin Davis, although it remains to be seen how much a recent broken finger will hamper him.

The offensive line had been fairly healthy until the news that Chad Wheeler will miss the rest of spring with a knee injury. Wheeler had added bulk and was progressing nicely as the No. 2 left tackle.

On the defensive side of the ball, injuries are really impacting the interior depth on the line and the safety positions.

There are three linemen who have missed all of spring: J.R. Tavai, Greg Townsend and Cody Temple. All three figure to provide important depth at the three interior spots of the 5-2 defense, so it’s vital to get them back on the field. Right now, the Trojans have Kenny Bigelow as a legit reserve at nose tackle, but the other spots are being manned by players out of position such as Charles Burks. Scott Starr is also out of action until fall, and he is expected to be a key reserve behind Morgan Breslin.

[+] EnlargeDion Bailey
Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesAs Dion Bailey recovers from shoulder surgery, the question of whether he'll play safety or linebacker in 2013 remains unanswered.
In the secondary, the Trojans have a lot of talent but not much is going to be settled until the coaches figure out where to put Dion Bailey. Most speculation centers around Bailey ending up at safety rather than linebacker, but he won’t be available for spring after recent shoulder surgery. So Josh Shaw, Demetrius Wright and Su’a Cravens are auditioning for starting spots. Gerald Bowman could also be in that mix, but he is also out this spring. This means it’s likely the safety rotation won’t be determined until well into fall camp.

At corner, the top player through the early part of spring was Kevon Seymour, but he has missed the last couple of days with an ankle injury. Devian Shelton is also out with a foot injury. That means extended reps for Torin Harris, Anthony Brown and Ryan Henderson, as well as the freshman Chris Hawkins.

USC coach Lane Kiffin said after Saturday’s scrimmage that the time off for spring break this week was coming at a good time for a team looking to get a few bodies back. The Trojans return to the practice field next Tuesday and having some of those injured players on the field will go a long way toward helping to determine starting spots.

Kiffin also acknowledged that the extra hitting in practices so far this spring -- done to achieve his goal of returning to a more physical style of play -- has played a part in having so many injuries. He said the team will continue to practice with full hitting for the rest of spring but gave no word on if there will be any changes in philosophy beyond that point.

Young, veteran mix solidifies safety spot

March, 15, 2013
3/15/13
11:23
AM PT
With the loss of starting safeties T.J. McDonald and Jawanza Starling, there was more than a fair amount of anticipation heading into spring practice when the search for their replacements officially began.

[+] EnlargeDemetrius Wright
Ric Tapia/Icon SMIVeteran Demetrius Wright is solidifying a safety position that has also seen an infusion of freshman talent.
And while it’s a unit currently low in terms of numbers with both Gerald Bowman and Dion Bailey -- who will potentially move to the secondary from linebacker in 2013 -- out for the spring due to injury, USC’s safety group has performed solidly throughout the team’s five practices, thanks in large part to a pair of veterans running primarily with the first group -- redshirt junior Josh Shaw and senior Demetrius Wright.

With Shaw at strong safety, and Wright at free safety, defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast has two experienced contributors with tons of athleticism manning the center of the defensive backfield in his new scheme.

“I feel like we’re coming along good,” Wright said. “Me and Josh have known each other since our junior year in high school, so we already had that connection. We’re working together, we watch film together, and the communication between me and him is going really good right now.”

But it hasn’t just been Shaw and Wright who have stood out. In fact, over the course of the last week, it’s been freshman early-entrant Su’a Cravens who has emerged as a budding star. Lining up with the second unit at strong safety, as well as at nickelback in the team’s nickel package, he was particularly stellar on Tuesday, collecting two interceptions. And on the other side, it’s been another freshman, Leon McQuay III, who has drawn notice after spending the first week at cornerback.

Once a major question mark, the safety positions now appear to have been at least somewhat solidified, particularly when you consider the team will be getting reinforcements in the fall -- a time that figures to see the competition heat up even more.

“All of the safeties aren’t even here right now,” Wright said. “We’ve still got a couple of guys hurt, so it’s going to be a real competition come fall training camp. We’re going to have a lot of depth. Anybody can go with the ones or twos, so we don’t really look at who’s starting. We’re out here competing so everyone is good to play.”

Defense shows well in Wednesday practice

September, 12, 2012
9/12/12
2:04
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- USC took the field on Wednesday morning for another day of prep work for Stanford, and Dedeaux Field served as the practice site for the first time in quite awhile as the Trojans look to keep Brian Kennedy/Howard Jones Field fresh.

USC head coach Lane Kiffin was particularly pleased with how the defense performed today and looks for them to have a strong showing against a Stanford offense that the Trojans have had problems containing as of late.

“I think that, going back to Saturday, our players weren’t pleased with the way that they finished in the second half,” said Kiffin. “So, its good to see not just the coaches, but the players take ownership in it. I think we’re going to play really well on defense.”

(Read full post)

Five things to watch: USC-Hawaii

August, 31, 2012
8/31/12
10:35
AM PT
The No. 1-ranked USC Trojans begin their 2012 season on Saturday against Hawaii (4:30 p.m. PT) at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. Here are five things to watch:

1. Who's playing? Because of Lane Kiffin's new injury-reporting restrictions that began this week, we don't know which of the Trojans' injured players will be playing on Saturday. It certainly creates some mystique around this opener, as there's really no telling who was practicing this week and who wasn't. Among the players who missed all or most of USC's Saturday scrimmage, the last day injuries were allowed to be reported, were receiver George Farmer, tight ends Randall Telfer and Christian Thomas, defensive tackle Leonard Williams, defensive ends Wes Horton and Greg Townsend Jr., linebacker Lamar Dawson, cornerback Torin Harris and safety Demetrius Wright.

2. Silas Redd and Curtis McNeal. The expectation is that McNeal will start, because he's been at USC longer and been successful with all of his opportunities. But Redd's first three-plus weeks in a USC uniform have gone about as well as the Trojans could have expected. The early-season competition between the two to decide who the primary back will be might be more interesting than the battle between Marqise Lee and Robert Woods, because we don't yet have any idea of how Kiffin plans to use Redd in games. Here's guessing both guys will get about 15 touches on Saturday, with another 5-10 for D.J. Morgan.

(Read full post)

USC's season-opening depth chart

August, 26, 2012
8/26/12
10:35
PM PT
USC coach Lane Kiffin released the first official depth chart of the 2012 season on Sunday night. Here it is, in its entirety, with bold indicating starters, ALL-CAPS indicating returning starters and ^ indicating returning co-starters.

We'll analyze the depth chart on Monday.

OFFENSE

Quarterback
MATT BARKLEY
Cody Kessler OR
Max Wittek

Running back
CURTIS MCNEAL OR
Silas Redd
D.J. Morgan
Javorius Allen

Fullback
Soma Vainuku
Jahleel Pinner
Charles Burks
Hunter Simmons

Flanker
MARQISE LEE*
De'Von Flournoy OR
Nelson Agholor

Split end
ROBERT WOODS
George Farmer
Victor Blackwell

Tight end
XAVIER GRIMBLE^ OR
RANDALL TELFER^
Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick OR
Christian Thomas OR
Junior Pomee

(Read full post)

Saturday scrimmage quick hits

August, 25, 2012
8/25/12
4:51
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- Here are news and notes from Saturday's scrimmage -- or "mock game", as coach Lane Kiffin called it -- that won't make it into our other coverage off the day.

Trojans name captains

USC's players voted to name the team's 2012 captains on Saturday, and they came up with some familiar names.

As expected, Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley will be a team captain for the third straight season, setting a school record. Safety T.J. McDonald will also serve in the role for his second season.

The newcomers will be senior center Khaled Holmes and junior cornerback Nickell Robey.

Kiffin said he agreed wholeheartedly with his players' choices.

(Read full post)

Fall camp practice No. 3 notes

August, 9, 2012
8/09/12
2:10
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- Here are more notes and quotes from Wednesday's practice coverage, which included stories on Curtis McNeal, George Farmer and Cody Kessler and Max Wittek.

Injury updates

Left tackle Aundrey Walker and middle linebacker Lamar Dawson missed most of practice with unspecified injuries. Walk-on Nathan Guertler filled in for Walker and freshman Scott Starr replaced Dawson.

Kiffin indicated that weakside linebacker Hayes Pullard would move to the middle spot and redshirt freshman Anthony Sarao would step in for Pullard before Starr would replace Dawson in a game situation. He was unclear on the contingency plan at left tackle, saying Guertler would be the backup "as of right now."

Center Khaled Holmes and receiver Robert Woods (ankle) continued to be very limited in practice, and cornerback Brian Baucham continued to sit out. Receivers Victor Blackwell and Farmer both sat out all of practice.

Cornerback Isiah Wiley and linebacker Marquis Simmons are expected to be out another week while they await their summer-school grades and find out about their eligibility for the coming season.

Flournoy ahead of everybody else

With Blackwell and Farmer on the sideline and freshman Nelson Agholor still adjusting to the speed of the game, coach Lane Kiffin said fourth-year junior De'Von Flournoy is "way ahead" of his competition in the race to be the No. 3 receiver behind Woods and Marqise Lee.

"Nelson has worked hard but he's still just trying to learn it," Kiffin said. "Just like spring, Flournoy is doing really well and very consistent."

Wright standing out

Kiffin said junior safety Demetrius Wright has been the best non-starter on the defense through three practices.

"He's made a ton of plays and had a phenomenal attitude and great approach to the game," Kiffin said. "He's a guy going into his third year who seems to have turned the corner."

Wright is competing with senior Jawanza Starling for the opportunity to start at strong safety next to T.J. McDonald.

Ideally, Kiffin said, Wright and Starling would rotate on defense and on special teams this season to keep both players fresh. And even McDonald would do the same thing with Drew McAllister and/or Josh Shaw.

Final notes: Freshmen Max Tuerk and Leonard Williams earned praise from coach Lane Kiffin for their play thus far in camp. Kiffin said Tuerk has made "very few mental mistakes." ... Freshmen cornerbacks Kevon Seymour and Devian Shelton, who have run some with the second-team defense, were also credited by Kiffin. ... Players had indicated earlier this week that practices would be shorter this camp than in past years, but Wednesday's session checked in at roughly three hours long. ... The Trojans will scrimmage at the Coliseum on Friday afternoon. Kiffin said he was unsure whether or not they would tackle during it.

Fall camp position preview: Defensive backs

August, 5, 2012
8/05/12
11:03
AM PT
To prepare for the start of the 2012 USC campaign, we’re doing position-by-position previews of the Trojans’ roster. We began Monday with quarterbacks and continued Tuesday with running backs, Wednesday with receivers and tight ends, Thursday with offensive linemen, Friday with defensive linemen and Saturday with linebackers.

Today, we look at the defensive backs.

For each position, we’re starting with a projected 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.

Cornerback

1. Nickell Robey, junior
2. Anthony Brown, redshirt sophomore
3. Ryan Henderson, redshirt freshman
4. Kevon Seymour, freshman

Free safety
1. T.J. McDonald, senior
2. Drew McAllister, redshirt senior
3. Josh Shaw, redshirt sophomore

Strong safety

1a. Jawanza Starling, senior
1b. Demetrius Wright, junior
3. Gerald Bowman, junior

Cornerback

1a. Isiah Wiley, senior
1b. Brian Baucham, redshirt senior
1c. Torin Harris, redshirt junior
4. Devian Shelton, freshman

This is USC's most stacked position group. And it's only to get deeper in the coming years.

But, for 2012, new defensive backs coach Marvin Sanders is going to have some interesting decisions to make in the next month. He has multiple guys vying for one strong safety slot and another four fighting for the No. 2 and No. 3 corner jobs.

Robey and McDonald are locked in. Everything else is up for grabs, and it's hard to even name a favorite at one of them.

At corner, Wiley finished off last season as the starter and got better each week. But Harris had held Wiley off before, until he got hurt, and is now healthy. Then Brown took over before he fractured his ankle, so all three of those guys can lay claim to the starting job.

Baucham had a nice spring and Henderson has elite, useful speed that could make him a factor. The top three could be any combination of Robey, Wiley, Harris, Brown, Baucham and Henderson.

At safety, Starling would appear to have a jump on Wright by virtue of his experience -- Starling's USC bio does say he "will start for his third season at strong safety as a senior in 2012" -- but he didn't comfortably emerge over Wright in the spring. And Bowman is an athletic, instinctive and intriguing prospect who could become major-college ready in a couple of months, which could mix everything up.

McAllister's listed as McDonald's backup, which would block him in some, but it's likely he'll play noteworthy snaps on defense this season -- if he's healthy. He's still the best playmaker of any Trojan defender.

Shaw, technically the third-string free safety for now, played as a true freshman for Florida before he got hurt and was a valuable reserve for the Gators last season. It's hard to see where exactly he'll get time in this packed secondary, but it'd still be a surprise if he wasn't a contributor by midseason.

We'll conclude tomorrow with special teams.

One-on-one with Dion Bailey

July, 18, 2012
7/18/12
12:47
PM PT
USC linebacker Dion Bailey isn't afraid to admit it. Playing at 202 pounds last season, he says he often got overpowered when he tried to break through the offensive line and get to the quarterback.

But now, the redshirt sophomore has bulked up to a more sturdy 215 pounds -- and he plans to gain another five before the start of fall camp in August.

The added weight should allow him to play the role of a real linebacker, not the sort of safety-moonlighting-at-strongside thing he was doing last year. And that's important to Bailey, who's always been keenly aware of the public perception of him and his game.

We caught up with him after a Trojans' throwing session last week, talking over that, his expectations for the USC defensive unit this season and several other topics.

Q: You're on two (now four) preseason watch lists already and could be on more. What does that sort of recognition mean to you at this stage in your college career?

A: I don't really pay any mind to it. Preseason stuff doesn't really matter -- all that matters is where you are at the end of the season. It's nice to know I'm on people's radar or whatever, but I don't really pay too much mind to it.

Q: What have you changed since last year? In what ways are you a different player than you were as a freshman?

A: I'm bigger and I'm much stronger from last year. My numbers in the weight room have increased dramatically from previous years, so I think I'll be able to be more of a physical presence in the run attack.

Q: Was that a conscious effort you made, knowing what your weaknesses were last year?

A: Yeah, I'm tired of being overpowered by linemen and stuff like that. I want to be able to hold my ground more steadily throughout the year, on a consistent basis, so I wanted to improve on my strength.

Q: What, specifically, is that strength going to provide to you, do you think?

A: I'm still going to try to react to the ball fast and run through the holes and try to beat the linemen to certain positions and certain places. But if I have to take on linemen, I'll have more of a strong foundation.

(Read full post)

Bowman officially in the fold

July, 10, 2012
7/10/12
4:07
PM PT
USC safety Gerald Bowman got the grades he needed to be eligible for the Trojans this season in a summer session at local Pierce College, he confirmed in a text message to ESPNLosAngeles.com Tuesday.

Bowman had been awaiting word on his status since he planned to enroll early in January and then found out he needed to take more classes to be admitted. He enrolled in more junior-college classes this spring and summer and then began to work out with USC again last month when his coursework was officially completed, but he had to wait until grades were released Tuesday to get the official OK.

His presence gives the Trojans six talented safeties available for fall camp in T.J. McDonald, Jawanza Starling, Josh Shaw, Demetrius Wright, Drew McAllister, plus Bowman himself,

McDonald and Starling have both started the past two seasons, so USC will likely have four non-freshmen, non-starting safeties on scholarship, an unusual situation.

But three of those six will be gone after the 2012 season, so Bowman is expected to take over a starting job then.

One-on-one with T.J. McDonald

June, 12, 2012
6/12/12
1:36
PM PT
USC safety T.J. McDonald is going be to the Trojans' second representative at Pac-12 media day next month at the Gibson Amphitheatre, joining quarterback Matt Barkley -- and his brother, Tevin McDonald, who will be representing UCLA.

We talked to McDonald about that news and several other topics following USC's early-morning throwing session on Tuesday.

Q: It's not a surprise that you'll be there in July. But your brother? That has to be somewhat of a surprise, considering he sat out his first year and then started as a second-stringer last year.

A: It's crazy going back and thinking about him. We had just lost to Stanford last year and I was feeling all down and then I check my phone in the locker room and I see he had three picks against Cal. Three picks? I had two picks against Arizona last year and I was feeling good about myself. It's cool we'll be there together.

Q: Well, Tevin's draft-eligible this year as a redshirt sophomore. But you're definitely going to the draft after this season, which brings us to this: Looking back, did you have the kind of year you hoped in 2011?

A: I mean, I had more tackles my sophomore year, but at the same time, our defense wasn't as good. As far as us as a defense, I feel like I played pretty well and I made impact plays, made plays on special teams. I wish I would've had a few more interceptions, but I feel like a lot of it was kinda overshadowed by me getting in trouble with the hits.

Q: Is it safe to say, then, that if you had done everything you wanted to do last year, you wouldn't be here right now?

A: No. It wasn't a sense of that, wasn't a sense of, 'If I had five picks I'm gone.' Nothing like that.

Q: You mentioned your play being overshadowed by your penalties, and a lot of people speculated before your decision that the flags would play a role in your decision, pushing you out to avoid further issues with Pac-12 referees. Obviously it wasn't that big a part in your decision, but did you consider it?

A: I understand that. But like I've said before, I'm a physical guy, and if you have anything to criticize me on, I'm OK with you criticizing me on that. I'd rather be criticized for that than a bunch of other stuff.

(Read full post)

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2013 TEAM LEADERS

PASSINGATTCOMPYDSTD
C. Kessler361236296820
RUSHINGCARYDSAVGTD
J. Allen1357855.814
T. Madden1387035.13
RECEIVINGRECYDSAVGTD
M. Lee5779113.94
N. Agholor5691816.46
TEAMRUSHPASSTOTAL
Offense174.2218.1392.3
TEAMPFPAMARGIN
Scoring28.521.37.2