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COLLEGE FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT / USC

Palmer Left Impression on Paus

November 14, 2000|DAVID WHARTON

Carson Palmer and his UCLA counterpart, Cory Paus, first met at summer football camp in 1997. They were about to start their senior seasons--Palmer at Santa Margarita High and Paus at Lincoln Way High in New Lenox, Ill.

"I remember thinking I was the best quarterback in camp until he got there," the Bruin quarterback recalled Monday. "I was a little smaller and not as strong."

Paus said he was thinking about accepting a scholarship to Colorado but had second thoughts after Palmer also expressed interest in the Buffaloes. As it turned out, neither of them ended up in Boulder.

Now that they are facing off in Los Angeles' cross-town rivalry, three years later, Paus is still a few inches shorter and a few pounds lighter than Palmer, but no longer intimidated.

"He's a great quarterback," Paus said. "But I'm not worried about my abilities."

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In the USC-UCLA game last season, sophomore Chad Pierson didn't touch the ball.

This season, after two games in which he has impressed coaches with his running from both the tailback and fullback positions, he has established himself as part of the offense and now has a chance to fulfill a childhood wish.

"Me and my dad used to watch USC play UCLA every year," said Pierson, who played high school football in Oxnard. "I always dreamed about playing in this game."

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