USC opens spring practice a week from today. So I will offer a note of caution today about what you read once practice begins, especially if you favor outlets that are usually soft with their coverage.
The fact is spring does not translate all that much. Two years ago, USC coach Clay Helton referred to the Trojans’ front seven as “violent” during spring practice. They gave up 263 yards rushing to Western Michigan in the season opener and didn’t scare too many people that season.
I could google all the stories where someone hyped wide receivers who are not even at USC anymore. Or how about training camp last fall? There were breathless reports about JT Daniels, including his ability to make a back-shoulder pass. How did that work out?
You can just bet there were will be a lot of cheerleading for new offensive coordinator Graham Harrell. He might do a great job next season. But you won’t know it from watching 7-on-7 plays or 20 minutes of scrimmaging in a spring practice, especially when USC has three scholarship cornerbacks (Isaac Taylor-Stuart, Olaijah Griffin and Greg Johnson) back from last season and none is exactly seasoned.
At least we won’t be hearing yet about some new strength coach making a huge impact because Helton hasn’t hired one yet.
- I mentioned former USC safety Charles Phillips was signing autographs Sunday at the Pomona Fairplex. Saturday was even better as the event featured several past USC players: Ron Mix, Anthony Davis, Mario Celotto and Rod Martin.
- Chuma Edoga, Porter Gustin, Marvell Tell III, Iman Marshall and Cameron Smith are participating in this week’s NFL combine.
- Former USC alumni won several awards at the Academy Awards on Sunday night: Regina King (best supporting actress); Ludwig Göransson (best original score); John Ottoman (best film editing); Rayka Zehtabchi (best documentary short).