USC’s Anthony Brown says he’ll start at cornerback against Notre Dame


USC’s embattled secondary will be reshuffled on Saturday against Notre Dame.

Cornerback Anthony Brown, who missed the last five games because of a knee injury, said Wednesday that coaches told him he would start against the Fighting Irish.

“It’s a big game,” he said. “I’m ready.”

Brown, a fourth-year junior from Rialto, started the opener against Hawaii but hyperextended his left knee. The injury, he said, did not require surgery.

The 5-foot-9, 180-pound Brown had hoped to be ready for the Arizona game, but his return to practice was delayed until this week. Brown has worked with the first-team defense in place of senior Torin Harris.


USC gave up a season-high 363 yards passing and four touchdown passes in last week’s 38-31 victory over Arizona.

The Trojans have surrendered a combined 714 yards passing and seven touchdowns in their last two games.

Lee watch

Receiver Marqise Lee said Tuesday that he would be ready to play against Notre Dame.

But interim Coach Ed Orgeron would not say definitively that the All-American, who has a knee injury, would play against the Fighting Irish.

“I don’t know,” he said. “It looked good [Tuesday]. Knowing him, he’s going to try to play, but I don’t know if he’s going to be ready. But it’s only Wednesday.”

Linebacker Morgan Breslin, who has been sidelined because of a hip injury, practiced Wednesday.


“We’ll see how he feels tomorrow, but I really feel like he should play,” Orgeron said.

Tailback Tre Madden continues to nurse a hamstring injury.

“We’re not for certain there,” Orgeron said of Madden’s status for Notre Dame. “But it’s a long time till Saturday.”

New addition

Veteran coach Pete Jenkins answered questions from reporters for the first time since joining the staff as a defensive line assistant hours before the Arizona game.

Jenkins, 72, had twice spent a week with the Trojans since spring practice.

“I hate to use the word consultant,” he said. “It implies you have the answers, and I don’t.”

Jenkins, who began his career in the 1960s, met Orgeron at a coaching clinic in the 1980s and has been a mentor since.

Jenkins coached at Louisiana State and other universities in the South before joining the Philadelphia Eagles’ staff for the 2007 season. He noted how the spread offense has changed the sport.


“It’s a little softer game, you know, to be honest with you — a little more like basketball on grass than it is the stuff I like,” he said. “But anyway, we’ve had to change with it.”

Jenkins’ oversight of the defensive line has allowed Orgeron to move about the practice field.

“We have a blast all day and I can go around watching other guys and enjoy being part of the team,” Orgeron said. “And I know they’re getting coached as well or better than if I’d be there.

“It’s fantastic.”

Quick hits

USC will practice early Thursday afternoon and then depart for South Bend, Ind.

Twitter: @latimesklein