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USC's walk-on kicker and punter earn scholarships for 2018 season

USC's walk-on kicker and punter earn scholarships for 2018 season
USC kicker Chase McGrath (40) is mobbed by teammates after kicking the game-winning field goal in overtime against Texas on Sept. 16. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Among all the USC football players who received awards at the team's banquet on Wednesday night, kicker Chase McGrath and punter Reid Budrovich might have been the biggest winners.

The walk-ons got the unexpected news they will receive scholarships beginning next season. Coach Clay Helton told them in front of the team after announcing they were the season's most-valuable nonscholarship players.

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McGrath made a splash when he won the starting job in the fall and kicked a 43-yard field goal to defeat Texas in double-overtime. He followed that with three field goals against California and two against Washington State.

Though he was battling an injury late in season, the freshman from Newport Beach made 12 of 16 attempts.

The possibility of him receiving a scholarship had become a recurring topic of discussion around the Trojan program.

Budrovich, a redshirt junior, averaged 42.5 yards.

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