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Scouting Report: C.J. Pollard

by Jeremy Shapiro

Class of 2016 early enrollee safety C.J. Pollard and the Gardena Serra Cavaliers knocked off the Loyola Cubs 35-17 on Friday in Los Angeles. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound rangy defensive back accounted for four tackles and a pass breakup, limiting Loyola to only 85 yards through the air.

Pollard’s pledge to the Trojans continues a family legacy and also keeps the Serra to USC pipeline flowing. Pollard’s father, Marvin, played cornerback for the Trojans from 1988-91, and now serves as Serra’s defensive backs coach.

Pollard has 23 tackles, 5 passes defended and 1 tackle for loss on the year.


-Possesses ideal size and frame at safety, and is capable of matching up with taller receivers and tight ends.

-Fluid athlete with explosive closing speed both in run support and when driving on the ball.

-Flexible defender with quick-twitch change of direction ability to go along with his respectable straight-line speed.

Coverage Talent

-Recognizes route development by reading the body language of the receiver, and breaks on the underneath route concepts with ease.

-Lateral quickness and strong footwork gives him an advantage against shifty slot receivers.

-Pollard has yet to intercept a pass in his varsity career and could improve his ball skills.

Coverage Technique

-Positions himself to where he can read the quarterback’s eyes as a single-high safety, preventing big plays in the passing game.

-Understands when he is in position to make a play on the ball or simply must deliver a hit on the receiver.

-Anticipates reads and takes aggressive angles to either the ball carrier or direction of the throw.


Pollard is an instinctive defender with the necessary range and size to develop into a high caliber single-high safety for the Trojans.

Garry Paskwietz
Garry Paskwietz

A 1988 graduate of USC with a degree in Sports Information. Worked in sports marketing for LA Lakers and Miller Brewing Company. Began covering the Trojans in 1996 with the Trojan Football Fax. Founded WeAreSC in November 1998 with stints at Scout and ESPN. Emmy-winner while covering high school football at Fox Sports West.

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