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Van Raaphorst Is Starting USC Quarterback for Now

New USC Coach Paul Hackett’s early pick for No. 1 quarterback is Mike Van Raaphorst, the sophomore who unseated John Fox after seven games last season only to sit out the last two games because of an ankle injury.

“Our feeling was, it’s very, very close, but we felt Mike’s grasp of the things we were doing and the way he handled the huddle was a little ahead of the others,” Hackett said.

Van Raaphorst will take half the snaps the remainder of the spring, with juniors Quincy Woods and Fox sharing the other half.

Freshmen Carson Palmer and Jason Thomas will get a chance to compete in the fall, but Hackett admitted it would be “a real stretch” for a freshman to start his first college game.

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