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USC spring football review: Safeties

End-of-spring safety depth chart for the USC football team:

Starters: Junior Leon McQuay or third-year sophomore Chris Hawkins and sophomore John Plattenburg

Backups: Senior Ryan Dillard and third-year sophomore Matt Lopes

Incoming: Freshman Marvell Tell and Ykili Ross

Review: Depth is a concern at the position. Only three scholarship players were available.

McQuay and Hawkins alternated reps at free safety.

Coach Steve Sarkisian said McQuay, who lost his starting position to Plattenburg before the Holiday Bowl, “elevated his game” and was playing with more confidence.

Hawkins moved from cornerback and appeared to improve.

Plattenburg listed at strong safety participated in practices despite an ankle injury but was sidelined for the spring game. Sarkisian said he played “fast and physical.”

Tell and Ross will join the team in training camp and could contribute immediately.

Questions about USC? Email me at or tweet @LindseyThiry and I will respond to select messages...

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USC spring football review: Quarterbacks

End-of-spring quarterback depth chart for USC football team:

Starter: Fifth-year senior Cody Kessler

Backup: Third-year sophomore Max Browne

Reserves: Redshirt freshman Jalen Greene and freshman Ricky Town

Incoming: Freshman Sam Darnold

Review: Kessler took more chances throwing into tight spaces, which caused more of his passes to be intercepted -- but spring practice is the time to take risks.

Kessler said he has worked with Ivan Lewis, USC's strength and conditioning coach, to improve his mobility. He avoided sacks and scrambled, once breaking for the open field and scoring a touchdown.

Kessler completed eight of 10 passes for 126 yards and a touchdown in the spring scrimmage.

Browne was among the Trojans' most improved players. There was a noticeable decrease in interceptions during the second half of spring. He connected with multiple receivers on deep passes.

Browne completed 24 of 37 passes for 251 yards and two touchdowns in the scrimmage. 

Greene’s accuracy improved and he continues...

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USC Now mailbag: Uniforms, Pac-12 title and NFL draft

Jerseys are still on your mind.

I'm bracing myself for an angry inbox after suggesting an alternate uniform.

Please be kind.

The uniform. First of all, cardinal and gold is just about the cheeriest color combination ever. We own it, we are envied, and those uniforms are as scary as they are beautiful. Warrior colors. Here we are colors. You can't miss us or mess with us colors. As a kid, I checked out the this and the that but it was something in-your-face about the Trojans that always grabbed me… I mean, what thoughtful person is into change for the sake of change? Not you, I'll bet.

-- Jon Parssinen

I hope you didn’t actually make that bet, Jon.

USC should keep its traditional home and away uniforms, but an alternate uniform should be introduced and worn for at least one home game each season.

It seems to be a reasonable compromise. USC football does not need to be a fashion show, but the addition of an alternate uniform could create excitement for players, recruits and even part of...

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USC Now morning report

Fact of the day: USC's 2016 recruiting class, with six commits, is nationally ranked No. 11 by Rivals and No. 13 by Scout.

In the Times:

Around the Web:

Questions or comments about USC? Email me at or tweet @LindseyThiry and I will respond to select messages in a weekly USC Now mailbag. 

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USC Now morning report: Nelson Agholor emerging in mock drafts

Quote of the day: "He reminds me of Reggie Wayne. I think he can be a superstar in the next system."

   -- Bucky Brooks on Nelson Agholor, via @NFLNetwork

In the Times:

Questions or comments about USC? Email me at or tweet @LindseyThiry and I will respond to select messages in a weekly USC Now mailbag

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Nelson Agholor reportedly visits the Miami Dolphins

Former USC receiver Nelson Agholor is scheduled to visit the Miami Dolphins on Wednesday, the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported.

The Dolphins own the 14th and 47th picks in the NFL draft.

Agholor, 6 feet and 198 pounds, was initially projected as a late second-round pick, but could climb into the first round.

Agholor ran the 40-yard dash in 4.42 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine in February and reportedly has impressed teams during the interview process.

The draft begins April 30 in Chicago.

Questions or comments about USC? Email me at or tweet @LindseyThiry and I will respond to select messages in a weekly USC Now mailbag.

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