Greg Katz – WeAreSC.com
In my humble opinion, cardinal and gold thoughts on what I see, what I hear, and what I think.
So long: It’s more common place than just an anomaly, but Long Beach Poly senior quarterback Matt Corral has de-committed from the Trojans, is no longer considering the Trojans, and the whole thing looks like recruiting business as usual, but obviously something went down between the two parties or at least one of the parties. Not that long ago, Corral transferred to Poly from Westlake (Calif.) Oaks Christian amidst some murky rumors, but everything seemed to be a smooth transition. I’ll trust that this will best for both parties in the long run.
So long – Part 2: Whatever the reason Matt Corral is no longer a USC commit now begs the question how Corral’s departure might affect the other prime Long Beach Poly targets on Clay Helton’s list? Corral was a huge recruiter for the Trojans, but in the long run, it probably won’t have a substantial impact with any of the current Long Beach Poly Trojans recruits. Poly players will still come to Troy and their success at USC is well documented. However, this is the unpredictable science of recruiting, so buyer beware.
So long – Part 3: With Matt Corral no longer in the recruiting fold, where do the Trojans turn and won’t that be an interesting development to follow? One would think that as time passes the Trojans will be able to attract interest of either a touted quarterback already committed or perhaps a high valued target that is still on the free market. One thing for sure, the Trojans have plenty of recruiting time to look at options and perhaps in the long run this could be a blessing for both the program and the kid. We’ll see.
IMHO: For FWIW, the view here is that Matt Corral reminded me somewhat of former Trojans QB standout Mark Sanchez while current Trojans true freshman quarterback Jack Sears (photo No. 13) has many of the same traits as current starting Trojans quarterback and Heisman Trophy frontrunner Sam Darnold, which isn’t exactly chopped liver.
Comparisons: Alabama is making a strong push for Mater Dei offensive lineman Tommy Brown who has been offered by the Tide but has yet to get an offer from the Trojans. I like WeAreSC contributor HelixTrojans comparison of Brown to former Trojans tackle Kevin Graf.
Comparisons – Part 2: I, too, remember Kevin Graf when he was a young prepster (Agoura HS) and still getting his sea legs under him. By the time Graf arrived at Troy and concluded his cardinal and gold career, nobody was anymore dedicated to being a Trojan and getting better than the youngest son of former Trojans standout offensive guard Allan Graf. There is something to be said about heart and Kevin had it and that drive and motivation eventually helped propel him into the NFL.
Grumblings: Understandably, there are Trojan fans that are worried that in the volunteer workouts that there several offensive line combinations being used. Trust me, this is not a case of the 2017 O-line being in disarray, confused, or a sign of weakness but a calculated way to begin the process of making sure that players know the different positions especially with no bye week in 2017.
The surprise: If there are some raised eyebrows in the early sessions of summer workouts, it was Thursday’s surprise that junior defensive lineman Jacob Daniels was playing some offensive right guard. However, we’ll see if that continues when training camp begins next month.
History lesson: One of the more successful moves of Trojans defensive to offensive lineman was late offensive guard Fred Matua, a former defensive lineman who took a defensive mentality to the offense line and wove it into a very physical and aggressive offensive lineman for Pete Carroll.
From the press box…
Locks: Junior Trojans running back Ronald Jones Jr. is taking his junior and possibly final season at Troy by growing back his once trademark dreadlocks, which means he is returning to the look that gave him so much success as a freshman. Call it the Samson theory.
Recruiting periscope: Keep an eye on Ohio prep defensive lineman Tyreke Smith (Cleveland Heights University) who is originally from SoCal. At 6-foot-4 and over 250 pounds, it is said that he is a master pass rusher off the edge. Ohio State, Notre Dame, UCLA, Alabama, and Penn State are also said to be in the hunt along with the Trojans who rumored to be in a strong position for Smith.
Advancement Trojans President C. L. Max Nikias has been named as chair of the Pac-12 CEO Group, which means that he’ll provide guidance as to advance conference initiatives representing conference and its student-athletes. Which means?
Advancement – Part 2: As many have said before me, can he do something about those Thursday night football games. The Friday night games are no bundle of joy, especially away games.
The name game: Perhaps you’d like to know that Trojans junior tight end Tyler Petite’s real first name is John.
Counting the numbers: Count yourself as a true Trojan football fan if you have scrutiny over those that show up for the “volunteer” weekly football workouts.
The post-game show…
New members: So, you want to become a new member of the Trojans Athletic Fund? Well, you might have to…if you plan on retaining your current Coliseum seat location for the future. FYI, the current new TAF members were recently treated to an afternoon with the Trojans coaching staff, which included participating in warm-up and team drills and a meeting with USC College Hall of Fame head coach John Robinson and senior linebacker Uchenna Nwosu.
Father’s Day present: For a Father’s Day, the Trojans offered package that included selecting a home game (Western Michigan, Oregon State, or Arizona), which also came with two tickets to the game selected, two pregame field passes, a commemorative ticket, and a USC hat.
Fair play: With a number of notable college coaches, which included Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, to last weekend’s first of two USC Rising Stars Camps, Helton was a schedule participant in this weekend’s Utah football camp.
Rising Stars Camp – Part 2: BTW, the second USC Rising Star Camp will be held next Sunday, June 25, on the Trojans campus.
Approaching: The Pac-12 Football Media Day is scheduled as a two-day event on July 26th and 27th at the Loews Hollywood Hotel.
Approaching – Part 2: Trojans head football coach Clay Helton and two to-be-announced players will be present at the Pac-12 Football Media Day on Thursday, July 27, at 11 a.m.
Approaching – Part 3: The Pac-12 Networks will air live coverage of the Pac-12 Media Day, providing interviews with coaches and players.
The last word: And one last time, a very special Happy Father’s Day to one and all.