2 min Read
- The Trojans will be welcoming back one of the most popular players from the Pete Carroll era with the news that former All-American defensive end Kenechi Udeze will be returning to USC as an assistant strength and conditioning coach. Udeze was a three-year starter at USC from 2001-2003 who led the nation in sacks as a junior and still holds the USC career record with 14 forced fumbles. He was later selected in the first round of the 2004 NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings, but his professional career was cut short by a battle with leukemia. Udeze began working in the S&C field with Steve Sarkisian at Washington from 2009-11 and spent the 2014 season at the University of Pittsburgh. Udeze was known during his playing days at USC as “BKU”, which was short for Big Kenechi Udeze, a nickname that had been given to him as a 350-pound recruit who worked his way into shape and an eventual scholarship offer from the Trojans and defensive line coach Ed Orgeron.
- There was a de-commitment in the USC recruiting class of 2015 as speedy cornerback/receiver Taeon Mason (Pasadena, Calif./Muir) announced that he would be pulling back from his verbal commit to the Trojans. Mason had been the first commit in the 2015 class for Sarkisian in February, 2014 but there had been a lot of recent speculation that he would end up elsewhere, particularly after he continued showing mutual interest with Washington State. After Mason posted a Twitter update describing a good in-home visit with the Cougars coaches this week, it came as no surprise to have him declare that he was no longer committed to USC.
- A pair of Trojans got off to a strong start at the first day of Senior Bowl practices on Tuesday as they look to take advantage of the opportunity to show their stuff in front of the NFL personnel in attendance. Hayes Pullard measured in at 6-foot, 236 pounds and he received praise during the initial on-field drills for his footwork, agility and coverage skills while also faring well in off-field interviews. As they take a closer look, the NFL folks should find what USC had in Pullard for four years, a solid and dependable linebacker who knows how to play the game. USC is also represented by defensive back Josh Shaw, fresh off a solid performance at the East-West Shrine game and measuring in at 6-foot, 198 pounds. Shaw looked physical in one-on-one drills and, as expected, was reportedly asked in a meeting with the Philadelphia Eagles about the circumstances surrounding his August injury and subsequent false story.