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USC recruiting update: Trojans offer legacy cornerback

Every Tuesday we will feature a USC recruiting update.

Gardena Serra connection continues

USC must wait until February to sign its 2015 recruiting class.

But 2016 recruiting is well underway.

Gardena Serra High juniors C.J. Pollard and Brandon Burton received scholarship offers from USC on Friday. Pollard is a cornerback, Burton a receiver.

Pollard told the Los Angeles Times on Monday that the offer from USC was “big” for him and his family.

Pollard’s parents attended USC. His father, Marvin, played cornerback for the Trojans from 1988-91.

“USC has been a part of my family for as long as I can remember,” said C.J. Pollard, who attended Saturday’s game against Colorado at the Coliseum.

“USC is very high in my recruiting, considering that I grew up watching [Reggie] Bush and [Matt] Leinart and a winning program,” he said.

USC’s roster this season includes five former Serra players: receiver George Farmer, cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, quarterback Jalen Green, linebacker Olajuwon Tucker and...

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USC football morning report

Quote of the day: "Nobody has reached out, but that's all right. I'm just the all-time leading scorer at the university."  

-- LenDale White, on Saturday's incident at the Coliseum

USC, ranked 20th, plays Utah on Saturday at the Coliseum.

USC -- 5-2 overall, 4-1 in the Pac-12 Conference -- is in first place in the Pac-12 South after defeating Colorado, 56-28, last weekend.

Utah is 5-1 overall, 2-1 in the Pac-12. The Utes beat Oregon State, 29-23 last Thursday, moving up to 19th in the rankings.

On the Times:

USC could use more JuJu Smith

USC's offensive line will face challenge from Utah

The Times' high school football rankings

Around the web:

USC has one of the ten best bands in college football

Photo of JuJu Smith with Dr. Dre at the Coliseum

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

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LenDale White isn't backing off comments about USC, Pat Haden

LenDale White is holding his ground.

The former USC tailback, who was escorted out of the Coliseum by game security personnel and Los Angeles Police Dept. officers after the Trojans' victory over Colorado, said Monday that Athletic Director Pat Haden or another school administrator kicked him out.

White's exit was captured on video by The Times and other outlets.

"My problem is not with USC," White said in a telephone interview. "To me it's just a little fishy, and I was always taught the fish stinks at the head.

"I'm just being honest."

White had been critical of the Trojans' coaching staff on Twitter during USC's victory at Arizona. But he was on the sideline during the Colorado game and engaged with fans in the stands, even taking photographs.

Tim Tessalone, USC's sports information director, said White was "loud and disrespectful" during a sideline conversation with Haden, and that Haden did not see White after the game or order his removal from the Coliseum.

"LenDale was a great...

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USC's Hayes Pullard: Justin Wilcox is a great defensive coordinator

USC defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox has been under pressure from Trojans fans.

Linebacker Hayes Pullard doesn’t understand why.

“I don’t know why everybody is giving him a hard time,” said Pullard, who has played under three defensive coordinators at USC, “because he’s a great coordinator.”

After giving up 541 yards to Arizona State and 472 to Arizona, USC held Colorado to 403 – 73 below the Buffaloes’ average -- in a 56-28 victory on Saturday. Trojans reserves played most of the fourth quarter.

Buffaloes quarterback Sefo Liufau passed for a career-low 143 yards.

Pullard made nine of his team-best 53 tackles against Colorado.

“He’s a great coach,” Pullard said of Wilcox. “I’ll support him 110% and so will the rest of the defense.”

USC, ranked 20th, plays at 19th-ranked Utah on Saturday.

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

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Quarterback Cody Kessler selected Pac-12 offensive player of the week

USC quarterback Cody Kessler, who passed for a school record seven touchowns against Colorado, was selected as the Pac-12 Conference offensive player of the week.

Kessler broke Matt Barkley’s USC record for touchdown passes in a game. Barkley passed for six touchdowns four times.

Kessler completed 19 of 26 passes for 319 yards in a 56-28 victory that improved the Trojans’ record to 5-2 overall and 4-1 in conference play.

Kessler has passed for 18 touchdowns, with one interception.

The junior from Bakersfield ranks 10th nationally in passing efficiency.

The No. 20 Trojans play No. 19 Utah on Saturday at Salt Lake City.

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Trojans in the NFL: Carson Palmer leads Arizona Cardinals to victory

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer returned to familiar territory on Sunday.

Palmer, who spent two seasons with the Oakland Raiders before he was traded to the Cardinals, completed 22 of 31 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns with an interception in a 24-13 victory over the Raiders at the Coliseum.

“It’s a great environment to play in,” Palmer told reporters after the game. “It is great to play when you are wearing silver and black and it’s a fun place to play as an opponent.”

It was the former USC quarterback’s second consecutive victory since returning from a shoulder injury.

In three games, Palmer has completed 74 of 112 passes for 807 yards and six touchdowns, with an interception.

Smith leads Seahawks’ defense

Linebacker Malcolm Smith has had a quiet season for the Seattle Seahawks since his Super Bowl MVP performance last February.

But in a 28-26 defeat by the St. Louis Rams at Edward Jones Dome, Smith led the Seahawks with 10 tackles.

Smith has 19 tackles and a...

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