In my humble opinion, cardinal and gold thoughts on what I see, what I hear, and what I think.
The reroute: Okay, so freshman phenom quarterback JT Daniels and his highly publicized fellow freshman class were absent from Friday morning’s team workout in order to attend a welcome brunch with their family members and the Trojans’ coaching staff. Daniels, however, was given a thrill later in the day when he was able to get some work done on campus by throwing to Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens and Atlanta Falcon and former Alabama All-America ball catcher Julio Jones. Not a bad tradeout.
The reroute – Part 2: Not only did JT Daniels get the buzz on Friday of throwing to a Hall of Famer and an active premier NFL receiver, but the Trojans receivers were able to, according to reports, get some pointers from the two NFL stars. Highly anticipated incoming freshman receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (photo above) even had a photo taken of himself with Julio Jones. Just another typical summer day for a USC football player on campus.
The reroute – Part 3: It’s common knowledge that earlier in the week that Terrell Owens announced that he will skip his induction into the upcoming Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremony in Canton, Ohio, come August. Owens, who becomes the first player inducted in the NFL HOF who will not attend the cherished ceremony, may have ruffled some HOF representatives and the league itself, but the fact that Terrell had time to get a workout on the USC campus didn’t take away the thrill for the young Trojan quarterback and his receivers, especially being mentored by one of the NFL’s all-time greats.
Hello, my name is: A large body of Trojan fans received an email recently introducing them to their personal university representative as it pertains to 2019 Coliseum seat relocations and athletic fund donations. The personalized letter first introduces the USC representative with “My name is _____________, and I will have the pleasure of serving as your personal USC Athletics representative throughout the Coliseum Renovation Project engagement and seat selection process. Before I dive into further details, I want to introduce myself and provide a brief background.
The background: The designated Trojans’ athletic relocation representative proceeds to give season ticket holders a personal and professional background history. The rep informs the number of years they’ve represented the Trojans and previous jobs that are relevant to the cause.
The criteria: The rep goes on to say in the email, “It is my responsibility as your personal USC Athletics representative to educate you about the Coliseum Renovation Project and to provide seating options for the 2019 season and beyond. Due to the large number of accounts, we have divided our Season Ticket Holders into five groups based on years of season ticket purchase.”
The criteria – Part 2: The season ticket groupings are named for the five attributes of a Trojan. Season Ticket Holders are categorized based on years of purchase: Faithful (30+ years), Scholarly (15+ years), Skillful (10+ years), Courageous (5+ years) and Ambitious (1+ year). Season Ticket Holders will be contacted over the next five months.
The conclusion: At the end of the personalized email from the designated athletic representative, the email goes on to say the month that the rep will be contacting the season ticket holder. For example, “As a result of your loyal support, you fall within the Scholarly Group and will be contacted in July. I look forward to speaking with you this July.”
The big hit: Let’s face it, if you’ve been a USC season ticket holder and look forward on a yearly basis to being surrounded by your longtime season ticket holders to the point where they feel like family, the experience of being separated on game day is obviously a difficult one to swallow.
Can we all get along: Wherever I go in USC circles, the discussion gets around to the Coliseum renovation project, and I hear, “With (Pat) Haden and (Max) Nikias gone, isn’t there anything that can be done to temper the Coliseum renovation project to accommodate a more fan friendly design?” The answer is probably no at this point.
From the press box…
The view: One thing learned from the opening day of summer workouts for the 2018 Trojans was that the media is restricted from viewing the proceedings from the sidelines of Brian Kennedy field and are basically to watching from atop the track and field stadium across the street from the practice fields. This edict will last for the entire summer workout session, but as they say, “If there’s a will, there’s a way.”
The piggyback: You’ll be happy to learn that the temporary Coliseum media press box potable trailers have been installed. Yes, they are four trailers mounted on top of four other trailers. To say the least, it is a very interesting sight to behold. The trailers are located at the midpoint of the renovation area of the Grand Old Lady.
The piggyback – Part 2: See the media trailers for yourself. Here’s the latest update photo: https://app.oxblue.com/open/usc/lacoliseumrenovation
Sad but true: As if things couldn’t have gone more wrong in the life of former Trojans DB Jack Jones, it was announced on Friday that Jack Jack had been arrested on two felony charges. Jones was arrested by the Santa Paula (Calif.) police on charges of felony commercial burglary and felony conspiracy to commit a crime. He was booked in the Ventura County Jail with bail set at $20,000. Jones, who is scheduled to appear Tuesday afternoon in Ventura County Superior Court, marks a sad chapter in what was once a very bright future coming out of Long Beach Poly High. Here’s hoping that in this horrific personal storm in his life, Jack can somehow emerge a better man.
Getting offensive: Trojans alum and current Dallas Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith was voted the No. 39 player in the NFL heading into the 2018 season by his peers.
Getting defensive: Trojans alum and current Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Jurrell Casey was voted No. 66 on NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2018.
The post-game show…
Rising Stars Camp: Sunday morning marked the participation of potential future Trojan recruits in the Rising Stars Camp (8 a.m. – 1 p.m.) and is for walk-ups only. The media is prohibited from commenting on the camp directly but are allowed to watch. Call it background information. Because of popular demand for the camp, Clay Helton elected to have an afternoon session (4 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. PDT). Cost of the camp is $70 and is open to all 9-12th graders.
Rising Stars Camp – Part 2: There will be a huge turnout of college coaches assisting in the Rising Stars Camp like Michigan, Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Nebraska, and Boston College to name a few. Pac-12 schools will not be involved in the camp for the obvious reasons. The Trojans’ first opponent for 2018, UNLV, will have representatives assisting.
The celebrations: The College Football 150th Anniversary has debuted another component of its celebration with the launch of its website at CFB150.org.
The celebration – Part 2: The new anniversary website contains videos, news and other information pertaining to the anniversary, which will take place in 2019. Access to articles, historical information, a schedule of events and links to social media components will all be available. A portion of the site will also allow former players and coaches as well as fans and alumni to submit their stories about how college football has impacted their lives, through the CFB150 pillars of education, community and leadership.
The last word: FWIW, we’re under 100 days until the 2018 opening kickoff against UNLV in the Coli on Sept. 1.