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USC players get warm welcome from San Diego Zoo sea lion

USC football captains got cozy with Cabo the sea lion at the San Diego Zoo on Wednesday.

“Awe, that feels so weird,” said defensive lineman Leonard Williams as he laughed when the sea lion planted a kiss on his cheek.

Receiver Nelson Agholor giggled in anticipation of Cabo’s peck.

“He gave me a kiss!” Agholor exclaimed with a laugh.

Players spent two hours wandering the zoo, ahead of Saturday's Holiday Bowl game against Nebraska. The main attraction was the lions exhibit, “even though they were sleeping,” Williams said.

The Trojans will visit SeaWorld on Thursday. 

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

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USC receiver George Farmer is ready for a repeat performance

USC receiver George Farmer had an outstanding performance in the regular-season finale against Notre Dame.

A repeat in Saturday’s Holiday Bowl against Nebraska could jump-start the fourth-year junior’s 2015 season.

“It is something I can definitely build upon,” said Farmer, who caught two touchdown passes against the Fighting Irish, one on a career-long 48-yard play.

Farmer is the son of former NFL receiver George Farmer, who played for the Los Angeles Rams and Miami Dolphins.

Being the son of a former pro brings pressure, but Farmer said his father provided guidance and served as a role model.

“He knows what’s going on and what to look for,” Farmer said. “Him being by my side has been a great blessing.”

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

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USC receiver Nelson Agholor swaps jerseys with offensive lineman

USC players kept to tradition during their final on-campus practice Tuesday, swapping jerseys with teammates.

Junior receiver Nelson Agholor wore offensive lineman Khaliel Rodgers’ No. 62 – a jersey at least two sizes too large.

“It’s very big – he’s a big guy,” said the 190-pound Agholor, smiling. “I don’t fill it out.”

As large as Rodgers’ jersey looked on Agholor, the receiver’s No. 15 jersey looked equally snug on the 315-pound Rodgers.

“It’s kind of goofy but it’s fun,” Agholor said.

USC plays Nebraska on Saturday in the Holiday Bowl.

Agholor said the game could be a “springboard” to next season, though he did not say whether he would return for a final season of eligibility or declare for the NFL draft.

“I thought a little about it,” he said. “But I think the No. 1 thing is I need to focus on performing well this Saturday.”

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

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USC football morning report: USC jersey swap

Quote of the day: "It’s been a tradition that was happening since before I was here. I inherited it from Stanley Havili and Rhett [Ellison] when they were here, so we were doing it every year since then."

-- Hayes Pullard, on players switching jersey numbers for the final practice

USC is set to play Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl on Saturday at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.

The Trojans finished the regular season 8-4 overall and 6-3 in the Pac-12 Conference. The Cornhuskers are 9-3 overall and 5-3 in the Big Ten.

This will be USC's first time playing in the Holiday Bowl, but its fifth game against Nebraska. 

In 2007, the Trojans defeated the Cornhuskers, 49-31, in Lincoln, Neb.

In The Times:

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USC seniors' final practice ends with tunnel tradition
Former USC safety Dion Bailey re-signed by the Seahawks

Less than a week after the Seattle Seahawks released former USC safety Dion Bailey from the practice squad, the team has re-signed him.

The Seahawks signed Bailey as an undrafted free agent in August before he was waived because of an ankle injury. Bailey re-signed in November and was released last Thursday.

Bailey intercepted five passes for USC in 2013. He declared for the 2014 draft with a season of eligibility remaining.

Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll recruited Bailey, who starred at Lakewood High, to USC when he was the Trojans' coach.

The Seahawks play the St. Louis Rams on Sunday in a regular-season finale at CenturyLink Field

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

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