ABC March 11 Practice #1 Notes & Sark Video | Photo Gallery March 13 Practice #2 Notes & Sark Video March 15 Practice #3 Notes & Sark Video | Coach Heyward Mic’d Up March 25 Practice #4 Notes & Sark Video | Coach Sirmon Mic’d Up March 27 Practice #5 Notes & Sark Video | Highlight Video March 29 Practice #6 Notes & Sark Video | Coach Wilson Interview April 1 Practice #7 Notes & Sark Video | Khaliel Rodgers April 3 Practice #8 Notes & Sark Video | Darreus Rogers | Steven Mitchell April 5 Practice #9 Notes & Sark Video | Delvon Simmons | Swim With Mike April 8 Practice #10 Notes & Sark Video | Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick April 10 Practice #11 Notes & Sark Video | Antwaun Woods April 12 Practice #12 Notes & Sark Video | Coach Wilson Mic’d up Scott Starr | Zach Banner April 15 Practice #13 Notes & Sark Video | Coach Drenvo Mic’d Up April 17 Practice #14 Notes & Sark Video | Coach Tuiasosopo Mic’d Up April 19 Practice #15 (Trojan Huddle) Notes & Sark Video Toa Lobendahn Spring Media Release (pdf) | Updated Depth Chart | Printable Roster (pdf)
ABC The 2014 USC Coaches Tour, featuring new head football coach Steve Sarkisian and men’s basketball coach Andy Enfield along with several Trojan student-athletes and the Trojan Marching Band, will be held in seven California cities in May: May 12 – Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach May 20 – Olympic Club in San Francisco May 20 – Menlo Circus Club in Atherton May 21 – San Gabriel Country Club May 22 – Manhattan Beach Marriott May 28 – La Jolla Country Club May 30 – Indian Wells Country Club More Information
ABC This year’s slate of USC coaching clinic and football camps have been announced: April 12 – USC Football Coaching Clinic June 13 – Mario Danelo Kicking Academy June 14 – Skills Camp June 20 – Trojans in Training (session 1) June 21 – Offensive & Defensive Line Camp June 22 - 7 on 7 Camp June 25-26 – Rising Stars Camp June 27 - Trojans in Training (session 2) June 29 – Speed & Power Camp For more information or to register, visit CoachSarkCamp.com
ABC Scouts from all 32 NFL teams were out and ready to evaluate the 21 Trojans who participated in Wednesday’s Pro Day. All the prospects performed to the best of their ability with the major highlights coming from the inside drills at the John McKay Center. Recap & Highlights Photo Gallery: Outside Drills Photo Gallery: Inside Drills Times & Measurements Preview
ABC 5 Enrolled Mid-year DT Claude Pelon 6-5 295 Mesa (AZ) Community College (Orlando, FL) | Rivals JUCO #20 **** | Video OL Toa Lobendahn 6-3 290 La Habra High School (La Habra, CA) | Rivals #212 **** | Video QB Jalen Greene 6-3 195 Junipero Serra High School (Gardena, CA) | Rivals *** | Video OL Jordan Austin 6-5 275 Claremont Hish School (Claremont, CA) | Rivals *** | Video DE/LB Don Hill 6-4 235 Timberline High School (Boise, ID) | Rivals *** | Video 14 Signed Letters-of-Intent ATH Adoree’ Jackson 5-11 185 Junipero Serra High School (Lawndale, CA) | Rivals #6 ***** | Video WR/S John “JuJu” Smith 6-1 210 Long Beach Poly High School (Signal Hill, CA) | Rivals #24 ***** | Video OL Damien Mama 6-5 370 St. John Bosco High School (Bellflower, CA) | Rivals #39 **** | Video OL Viane Talamaivao 6-3 330 Centennial High School (Moreno Valley, CA) | Rivals #90 **** | Video WR/CB Rahshead Johnson 5-11 175 Cabrillo High School (Compton, CA) | Rivals #141 **** | Video CB Jonathan Lockett 5-11 175 Mater Dei High School (Bellflower, CA) | Rivals #154 **** | Video TE Bryce Dixon 6-4 240 St. Bonaventure High School (Oxnard, CA) | Rivals #160 **** | Video OL Chris Brown 6-5 295 Loyola High School (Los Angeles, CA) | Rivals #195 **** | Video LB Olajuwon Tucker 6-3 220 Junipero Serra High School (Harbor City, CA) | Rivals #228 **** | Video DE/LB Malik Dorton 6-2 250 St. John Bosco High School (Los Angeles, CA) | Rivals *** | Video CB John Plattenburg 5-11 180 Lamar High School (Houston, TX) | Rivals *** | Video ATH Ajene Harris 5-11 180 Crenshaw High School (Los Angeles, CA) | Rivals *** | Video CB Lamont Simmons 6-2 185 Raines High School (Jacksonville, FL) | Rivals *** | Video LB Uchenna Nwosu 6-3 210 Narbonne High School (Carson, CA) | Rivals *** | Video Preferred Walk-Ons (unofficial) QB Larry Tuileta 6-2 210 Punahou High School (Honolulu, HI) | Rivals ** Two-time Hawaii POY | Was committed to Norm Chow at Hawaii | Will also play volleyball CB Devonte Nunnery 5-11 190 St. Bonaventure High School (Ventura, CA) | Rivals ** Teammate of Bryce Dixon and Ricky Town | Had a scholarship offer from New Mexico State LB Grant Moore 6-2 200 Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, CA) | Rivals NR Second Team All-Trinity League | Son of Rex Moore
ABC New Head Coach Steve Sarkisian brought five assistants with him from Washington. But while several coaches have Pacific Northwest ties, many have roots elsewhere–which may have important implications for recruiting. While Washington and Oregon are not exactly recruiting hotbeds for USC, Sark and his staff obviously did their best to forge their own inroads in California. The Huskie roster is littered with names of California kids that Trojan diehards might recognize: Shaq Thompson, Keith Price, Sean Parker, Jaydon Mickens, Jermaine Kelly, Josh Shirley, Damore’ea Stringfellow, and Pio Vatuvei to name a few. They certainly gave their best shot at nabbing many current Trojans and current USC recruits. The history allowed them to hit the ground running when they arrived. The fact that key local recruiter Tee Martin as well as Clay Helton remained as staff did not hurt either. The UDub transplants all also went to school in the rain: Marques Tuiasosopo (Washington), Johnny Nansen (Washington State), Keith Heyward (Oregon State), and two Ducks Justin Wilcox (a Eugene native) and Peter Sirmon (from Walla Walla). But that is not to say they do not have ties elsewhere. Several; new staff members have Southern California roots. Nansen and Tui come from Long Beach. Keith Heyward, Woodland Hills. Tim Drevno (like Sark) comes from Torrance and played at El Camino (like Sark) and Cal State Fullerton. Likewise, there is a fair amount of familiarity across the South. Tee Martin came from mobile, played at Tennessee, and coached at Kentucky. Newcomer Chris Wilson arrives from Georgia. He grew up around Dallas, played at Oklahoma, and coached (among other places) at Oklahoma and Mississippi State. Helton hails from Houston, played at Houston and Auburn, and coached at Memphis, Houston, and Duke. WIlson and Sirmon are not complete strangers to the South either, having coached together at Tennessee. Sirmon also played for the Titans. We are still trying to figure out the regional responsibilities of each coach, but here are some preliminary thoughts… Clay Helton – Northern California, Central California Keith Heyward – Los Angeles? Tim Drevno – Orange County? San Diego? Tee Martin – Los Angeles, Florida Johnny Nansen – Los Angeles? Hawaii? Peter Sirmon – Inland Empire, Southwest? Marques Tuiasosopo – Washington? Justin Wilcox – Oregon? Chris Wilson – Texas, Southeast National/Midwest/Northeast ?
ABC Pete Carroll started a habit around USC of handing out an abundance of titles, but his former Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach may have taken the practice to a new level. Associate Head Coach for Offense. Defensive Passing Game Coordinator. In fact, almost everyone on Sark’s staff has a flowery title… Tim Drevno – Offensive Running Game Coordinator / Offensive Line Coach Clay Helton – Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks Coach Keith Heyward – Defensive Passing Game Coordinator / Defensive Backs Coach Tee Martin – Offensive Passing Game Coordinator / Wide Receivers Coach Johnny Nansen – Assistant Head Coach / Special Teams Coordinator / Running Backs Coach Peter Sirmon – Associate Head Coach for Defense/ Recruiting Coordinator / Linebackers Coach Marques Tuiasosopo – Associate Head Coach for Offense / Tight Ends Coach Justin Wilcox – Defensive Coordinator Chris Wilson – Defensive Line Coach If we were one-time Defensive Coordinator at Mississippi State, Chris Wilson, we might be feeling a little insecure about now. On the other hand, the “is he actually coming” nature of his hiring might have precluded his final title from making it into the media release announcing his hiring. We would actually be surprised if something like Defensive Running Game Coordinator was not part of the bargain. We shall see.
ABC At 39, Steve Sarkisian, is the third youngest head coach at a BCS conference school–eclipsing only Texas Tech’s boyish Kliff Kingsbury (at 34-years-young) and Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald (by about 9 months). He has also surrounded himself with a youthful staff where only Chris Wilson (45), Tim Drevno (44), and Clay Helton (41) are his elders. Athletic Director Pat Haden, in his January State of Troy Address, says he and the players like the energy and enthusiasm of the new staff: “It is a young group, and quite frankly, this has become a young man’s game. The amount of hours these guys put into the job requires a ton of energy and enthusiasm. They relate to young people well, and I have heard that directly from our players. They have also assimilated into the Trojan Family instantly. They had heard about USC from the other places they worked, and they believe in the power of this university, and are already great ambassadors for the department.” Energy is great, but throughout the hiring process TributeToTroy has also kept a watchful eye on the discipline this staff might instill. Washington ranked as one of the most penalized teams in the nation the last couple of seasons, and we would like to see the trend die. The hiring of Drevno and Wilson gives us some hope, but a couple of old-school, hard-asses mixed in would have given us a bit more confidence. Here’s the whole staff listed by age: Chris Wilson – 45 (January 8, 1969) Tim Drevno – 44 (March 20, 1969) Clay Helton – 41 (June 24, 1972) Steve Sarkisian – 39 (March 8, 1974) Johnny Nansen – about 39 (exact birthday unknown) Justin Wilcox – 37 (November 12, 1976) Peter Sirmon – 36 (February 18, 1977) Tee Martin – 35 (July 25, 1978) Keith Heyward – 34 (February 2, 1979) Marques Tuiasosopo – 34 (March 22, 1979)