Trojans in the Super Bowl
Once again, the Trojans will be well represented in this year’s Super Bowl. With the New England Patriots and New York Giants advancing to Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, AZ on Feb.3rd, five former Trojan players will be apart of the big game.
Steve Smith and Junior Seau figure to have the biggest impact on the game. New York Giants rookie wide receiver Steve Smith is headed to the Super Bowl in his first year in the NFL. By Contrast Junior Seau will be making his second Super Bowl appearance in his 18-year Hall of Fame caliber career and looking for his first ring.
Matt Cassell and Oscar Lua will be on the sidelines for the Patriots and Manuel Wright is on the Giants roster.
Rachal Goes Pro
There was a lot of speculation that USC linebacker Rey Maualuga would make himself eligible for the NFL Draft but in the end the only junior to leave early was offensive lineman Chilo Rachal.
Rachal, a fourth year junior, decided to forego his senior year and enter April’s NFL Draft. The big guard was hampered by injuries in 2007 but still performed well enough to be an All-Pac-10 selection.
One of the main factors in Rachal’s decision to leave early was his mother’s recent medical problems.
Ken Norton’s Still a Trojan
When the Bruins hired Rick Neuhesiel as their head coach one of the first things on his agenda was to try and lure Ken Norton back to Westwood. After contemplating the move Norton decided he would remain the Trojans linebacker coach because he has “unfinished business” at USC and is very loyal to Pete Carroll.
Norton’s decision to stay at USC is very big for the Trojans because he is one of the most respected coaches on the staff and also a great recruiter. USC linebacker Rey Maualuga said that Norton's decision to stay at USC was one of the main reason he came back for his senior year.
Trojans Stun the Bruins, 72-63
The Trojans got off to a 0-3 start in conference play but the young team appears to be back on track after beating Washington at home and upsetting the fourth ranked Bruins in front of a stunned crowd at Pauley Pavilion.
The game was billed as a battle between high-touted freshman Kevin Love and OJ Mayo but it was the Trojans other sensational freshman, Davon Jefferson, that stole the show. The ultra-athletic forward proved to be the difference in the game for USC scoring a game-high 25 points and 9 rebounds.
Jefferson has had an up and down season and was benched for the Washington State game last week but rebounded to lead the Trojans to their biggest win of the year on Saturday.
“He had a big time game. I think he understands with not playing this game or not playing that game that it hurts us as a team,” OJ Mayo said of Jefferson. “We are young and we need all fourteen players and when he is not playing it’s hurting us. I think he understands that and he came today with an attitude and committed and wanted to win.”
With the win over UCLA, the Trojans will look to carry their momentum into this week’s games against Oregon State and Oregon.
“This has been a tremendous turnaround, to start 0-3 and getting two games and hopefully we can finish strong in the Pac-10,” said Mayo.
Sophomore cornerback Vincent Joseph is no longer enrolled at USC after being academically disqualified. The loss of Joseph is a blow to the depth in the defensive backfield. Joseph contributed as a back-up cornerback for the Trojans in 2007.
Four-star offensive lineman Matt Meyer became the first member of the 2008 recruiting class to enroll at USC. Meyer, the top prospect in Northern California, is a key piece of the Trojans sensational offensive line class that also includes Matt Kalil, Tyron Smith, Khaled Holmes and Daniel Campbell.
At 6-8, 285-pounds, Meyer has the ideal size to be an offensive tackle but the USC coaches are looking at Meyer to play both guard and tackle. With the departure of Chilo Rachal, Meyer should compete for time at the guard in 2008.
Maiava, Rowe have Surgey
USC junior linebacker Kaluka Maiava had surgery on his thumb following the Rose Bowl and the LA Times reported that redshirt freshman Alfred Rowe had surgery to repair a chipped left kneecap. Rowe is expected to be ready for Spring practice.
Big Recruiting Weekend
With Signing Day just a few short weeks away Pete Carroll and the USC staff hosted nine of the top recruits in the nation this weekend. USC commits Matt Kalil, D.J. Shoemate, Curtis McNeal and Daniel Campbell visited USC along with Nick Perry, Uona Kaveinga, Malik Jackson, Jurrell Casey and Jordan Cameron.
From all accounts the weekend was a big success. Stay tuned to the Premium Board for regular updates.
Chow Headed to Westwood
The Crosstown Rivalry heated up Sunday night with the news that UCLA has hired Norm Chow as its offensive coordinator. Chow of course was wildly successful as the offensive coordinator at USC where he helped lead the Trojans to the back-to-back national championships and tutored Heisman Trophy quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart.
With the hiring the Bruins now have two former USC assistants, Norm Chow and DeWayne Walker, as their coordinators.