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Robinson Starts Production on Jurassic Park II

August 09, 1993|EARL GUSTKEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

At USC, mastodon football is back.

At least, new football Coach John Robinson and one of his players seemed to make that official Sunday.

At UC Irvine, where the Trojans will hold their first full-squad practice today, Robinson, defensive coordinator Don Lindsey and offensive tackle candidate Tony Boselli stressed the theme of giant offensive linemen who can dominate their opponents and thereby control football games.

One day recently, Robinson, returning to USC after a nine-season sabbatical in the NFL, pointed to his office door and said: "You know, when Norberto Garrido walks through that door, he almost completely fills the door frame," he said. "It's a remarkable sight."

Then he laughed, seemingly eager to get started.

Garrido, a 6-foot-7, 295-pound sophomore, is only one of several massive offensive linemen Robinson hopes to mold into players who might one day be compared to Trojan giants of the past--Anthony Munoz (6-7, 290), Ron Yary (6-7, 285) and Marvin Powell (6-6, 285).

USC, 6-5-1 last season, draws an early opener this year, playing North Carolina, 9-3 in '92, at Anaheim Stadium on Aug. 29.

Lindsey, to whom Robinson made his first football call after being hired by USC last January, confirmed the Trojans' renewed emphasis on huge offensive linemen this way: "We want our offensive front people to have an attitude. We want them to look across the line at their opponent and be able to say: 'You and I are going to go at it for three hours, and I am going to wear you down. Eventually, you will quit.' "

Boselli, a junior who is 6-8 and 295, agreed that being physical is an attitude.

"Coach told us (offensive linemen) at our first meeting last January that we are the ones who get the team going in every game, and that we are the ones who will be responsible for us being positioned to win games," he said.

Boselli, Joel Crisman, Craig Gibson, Len Gorecki and Kris Pollack are the key offensive line returnees.

USC Notes

With media day behind them, the Trojans, who have 110 players in camp at UC Irvine, will begin two-a-day drills today. The sessions, at 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., are open to the public. Eighteen freshmen, junior college transfers and walk-on players worked out at USC last week. . . . Speaking of big offensive linemen: A 6-7, 330-pound freshman, aptly named Phalen Pounds, is the biggest of all. Coach John Robinson said: "There might be another Lincoln Kennedy (ex-Washington All-American) inside that big body, but it might take us a year or two to find him."

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