USC's Hancock to have season-ending surgery

LOS ANGELES -- Southern California fullback Brandon Hancock
will have surgery for ligament damage in his left knee and won't be
able to play this season.

Mark Twain, at least to our knowledge, wasn't a Trojans fan. What we do know, though, is that his famous quote, "The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated," could certainly be applied -- with a slight modification inserting "demise" for "death" -- to USC's football team in 2006.

To read more of Blue Ribbon's preview of USC's chances in 2006, click here.Insider

The 6-foot-1, 230-pound senior was expected to be the starter
after being the backup last season.

"My immediate goal is to still be involved around here, be a
leader and train for the NFL combine and do what I can," Hancock

He was the Trojans' starter for most of 2003, then redshirted in
2004 after having surgery on his right knee, and also having a
ruptured chest muscle.

Used primarily as a blocker, Hancock has a total of eight
carries for 19 yards in his career, and 24 receptions for 277 yards
and two touchdowns.

He hurt his knee during a routine drill on Monday.

Jody Adewale, Stanley Havili and converted linebacker Ryan Powdrell are expected to battle for the fullback job.