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Linebacker Cameron Smith named 2018 Trojans Most Valuable Player

USC senior inside linebacker Cameron Smith (photo above) was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2018 Trojan football team at the annual awards banquet Wednesday night at USC’s Town & Gown.

Senior cornerback Ajene Harris was named the Most Inspirational Player.

Smith made 81 tackles in 2018 to become the first Trojan in nearly 40 years to top the team in tackles in 3 consecutive seasons.  Harris had 57 tackles, 7 deflections and an interception return for a touchdown while playing nickelback, free safety and strong safety.

Junior wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr., who had 41 receptions and 6 TDs, was the Offensive Perimeter Player of the Year, while senior cornerback Iman Marshall, who had 48 tackles and a team-best 9 deflections, was the Defensive Perimeter Player of the Year.  Senior offensive guard Chris Brown  repeated as Offensive Lineman of the Year, while redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jay Tufele was the Defensive Lineman of the Year.  Senior inside linebacker Reuben Peters was the Special Teams Player of the Year.

A complete list of the 2018 awards:

Most Valuable Player:  inside linebacker Cameron Smith

Most Inspirational Player:  cornerback Ajene Harris 

Trojan Way Leadership Award:  outside linebacker Porter Gustin

Trojan Commitment Award:  safety Marvell Tell lll

Linemen of the Year: offensive guard Chris Brown (offense), defensive lineman Jay Tufele (defense)

Perimeter Players of the Year:  wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (offense), cornerback Iman Marshall (defense)

Special Teams Player of the Year:  inside linebacker Reuben Peters

Service Team Players of the Year: tailback Quincy Jountti and offensive tackle Liam Douglass
(offense), inside linebacker Spencer Gilbert and outside linebacker Bruce Mathews  (defense)

Howard Jones/Football Alumni Club Academic Award (overall academic achievement):  offensive guard Jordan Austin

Bob Chandler Award (underclassman with outstanding athletic ability, academic achievement and character):  tailback Vavae Malepeai

John McKay Award (player with the most competitive spirit):  offensive tackle Austin Jackson , wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown

Joe Collins Walk-on Award:  wide receiver Jake Russell

Chris Carlisle Courage Award:  snapper  Jake Olson

Community Service Award:  tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe

Lifters Award:  offensive guard Jordan Austin (offense), outside linebacker Porter Gustin  and inside linebacker  Reuben Peters (defense)

Captains:  safety Marvell Tell lll, inside linebacker Cameron Smith , outside linebacker Porter Gustin, center Toa Lobendahn

Greg Katz

Now entering his 59th season of either writing, broadcasting, or just plain watching USC football, WeAreSC columnist Greg Katz began his affiliation with the website back in 2001, introducing his well-received O/NSO (The Obvious/The Not So Obvious) column and later adding his respected IMHO Sunday opinion and tidbits column. Greg, a former ESPN.com college football columnist covering USC, is also a member of the Football Writer's Association of America. He is also known in Southern California as a professional public address announcer, having called the the 1996 Rose Bowl Game between USC and Northwestern. Greg also holds a master's degree in athletic administration and was a former varsity high school coach of 27 years.

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