The crumpled facemask served as a coach's memento, a reminder of a play that set Soma Vainuku on a path to the Senior Bowl.
In USC's 2012 opener against Hawaii, the Trojans scored a touchdown on their first snap and then kicked off, setting the stage for a raw redshirt freshman fullback to make his mark.
As the 6-foot, 250-pound Vainuku sprinted down the field in the Coliseum, a would-be blocker hit him and bounced away as if in a cartoon.
"It was almost like the guy ran into a brick wall," USC special teams coach John Baxter said.
Vainuku kept going and plowed into the kick returner, forcing a fumble that Hawaii recovered, before running to the...