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LOS ANGELES -- USC punter Kyle Negrete has earned a scholarship for the 2012 season, he confirmed via text message to ESPNLosAngeles.com on Sunday.
Negrete punted for the Trojans throughout 2011 while a walk-on and proved very able. He pinned 19 of his 39 attempts inside the 20-yard line and didn't kick a single touchback, averaging 40.1 yards overall.
A transfer from the University of San Diego, Negrete redshirted the 2010 season while practicing at both linebacker and punter. He then beat out scholarship freshman Kris Albarado for the starting job before the 2011 season.
USC is under scholarship sanctions from the NCAA and can provide only 75 to current players. The normal maximum is 85.
With Negrete now on the books, the Trojans have at least 72 scholarships already locked in. As USC coach Lane Kiffin has indicated in recent days, three former walk-ons who were given scholarships in previous seasons could now get them renewed to meet the maximum.
But there is also the case of Class of 2012 signee Darreus Rogers, a receiver from nearby Carson, Calif. He signed with the Trojans in February but has not been approved for college competition by the NCAA due to academic concerns.
Rogers has until Sept. 14 to be ruled academically eligible and enroll in classes.Pedro Moura covers USC for ESPNLosAngeles.com.