USC mailbag: The defensive line, midyear enrollees and championships

USC mailbag: The defensive line, midyear enrollees and championships
USC defensive tackle Antwaun Woods lines up against Hawaii during a game in September 2012. (Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times)

When young men leave high school early and enroll in the spring semester at USC, what happens to - what would have been - the end of high school? Do they take an equivalence test and graduate early, or does the high school recognize the USC courses and graduate them in May/June? At USC, what kind of classes do they take? I realize that some are more mature than others, but college classes are obviously different from high school classes and I wondered if the athletic program has developed some intro-classes that help these young men adjust to college life.

-- Jim Rhodes


Players who graduate early squeeze four years of high school into three and a half. They take extra courses, summer school and accelerated classes.

They must take the SAT or ACT and have qualifying grades to graduate early and be accepted to USC.

Players who enroll early often return to their high school to attend prom or walk at the graduation ceremony.

At USC, they take standard freshman courses and general education required courses.

As they are for all student athletes, tutors are available.

Seems to me all the defensive linemen who were recruited in 2015 will have a good chance of not being redshirted for the upcoming season. With [Antwaun] Woods, [Claude] Pelon, [Delvon] Simmons, [Kenny] Bigelow and [Greg] Townsend coming back and the way Pac-12 teams play up-tempo, throw in some injuries and that's not a lot of linemen.


Last season Leonard Williams, Antwaun Woods and Delvon Simmons played the majority of snaps but rotated with Cody Temple, Claude Pelon and Greg Townsend Jr.

Everyone returns except Williams.

If they stay healthy -- which is a big if given some of their histories -- I don't expect all the freshmen to play.

Coach Steve Sarkisian said on signing day that the 2015 recruiting class – Jacob Daniel, Rasheem Green, Noah Jefferson, Christian Rector and Kevin Scott – will make a "big impact" in two seasons.

He noted that because Woods, Simmons, Temple, Pelon, Townsend and Charles Burks are seniors.

I can't believe you dissed the 2006 Rose Bowl on your way to criticizing Pete Carroll's play calling! For most of us Trojan fans, the National Championship is FAR more important than the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl, for me, is a fraudulent product of athletes who can't, for the most part, do anything but earn millions for their athletic talent. I am opposed, for the most part, to playoff systems, but the NFL's obnoxious playoffs are almost as bad as the NCAA basketball tournament.

But to assert that the Super Bowl is more important than the national collegiate championship -- especially when the Trojans are a part of it -- is heresy, at best. I don't care who's in the Super Bowl. My eyes are glued to the television for the NCAA Championship.


When the Trojans win one, it will be worth a century of Super Bowl wins by the New England Panthers. Or whatever.

How dare you?!

--Denys Arcuri

Oh Denys, not only did I dare, but I did!

Sure, the national championship is more important to USC fans when the Trojans are in it. (And by the way, there is no "NCAA" championship).

But the NFL is king.

For Pete Carroll to lose the Super Bowl on second down from the one-yard line is worse than the fourth and two against Texas in the 2006 Rose Bowl.

That is by no measure an insult to the importance of the Rose Bowl or the USC-Texas showdown.

Super Bowl XLIX was the most-watched television show in history with 114.4 million viewers.

Interesting that you think the Super Bowl is just a bunch of "fraudulent athletes who, for the most part, can't do anything but earn millions for their athletic talents."

Five players at the Super Bowl were former Trojans. More than 50 are in the NFL.

But they must account for your exception.

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