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USC REPORT

Three Get First-Team Honors

November 26, 2003|Gary Klein | Times Staff Writer

Offensive tackle Jacob Rogers, defensive lineman Kenechi Udeze and wide receiver Mike Williams were selected to the All-America team chosen by the Football Writers Assn. of America, the organization announced Tuesday.

It is the first time since 1989 that at least three Trojan players were chosen first-team All-America. In 1989, defensive back Mark Carrier, defensive tackle Tim Ryan, linebacker Junior Seau and offensive lineman Mark Tucker were selected to All-America teams.

Top-ranked Oklahoma had an unprecedented six players selected to the 25-man FWAA team, the second-oldest continuously published team in college football. USC had the second-most, and can now count 127 players who have been first-team selections to various All-America teams.

Coach Pete Carroll recognized Williams, Udeze and Rogers at a team meeting before practice. The Trojans, who are second in the bowl championship series standings, play their final regular-season game Dec. 6 against Oregon State.

Rogers, a 6-foot-6, 305-pound fifth-year senior from Oxnard, credited his fellow offensive linemen, Trojan coaches and Udeze for helping him become the first USC offensive lineman to earn All-American status since Tony Boselli, who was selected in 1992 and 1994.

"It's an honor to be part of the great tradition of offensive linemen here," Rogers said. "I've been going against [Udeze] every day in practice, and he's an All-American.

"You have to be right on your stuff. It can only make you better."

Udeze, a redshirt junior from Los Angeles who is listed at 6-4, 285 pounds, became USC's first All-American defensive lineman since Ryan in 1989.

Udeze has 20 tackles for losses -- including 12 1/2 sacks. He has come far since entering USC weighing 355 pounds.

"I always set goals and one of the main goals I set for myself was to be an All-American before I left here," Udeze said.

Udeze said he has thought about making himself eligible for the NFL draft after this season. He said his projected draft position would influence his decision, but he planned to discuss his options with USC coaches and his family after the Trojans' bowl game.

Williams, 6-5, 230 pounds, has caught 80 passes for 1,167 yards and 14 touchdowns. He is the first USC sophomore to earn All-American recognition since Boselli in 1992. He is the first Trojan All-America wide receiver since Keyshawn Johnson in 1995.

Members of the All-America team will attend an awards ceremony in Orlando, Fla., on Dec. 12.

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Offensive coordinator Norm Chow said he had not spoken to Arizona officials since interviewing for the school's head coaching job Sunday in Los Angeles.

"No word," Chow said. "If I do, I do. If I don't, I don't."

Chow, Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, Cincinnati Bengal assistant Ricky Hunley, New York Giant defensive coordinator Johnnie Lynn and Arizona's interim coach, Mike Hankwitz, met with Arizona officials Sunday and Monday.

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Fullback Brandon Hancock, who has a sprained knee, did some light running and is aiming to return for the Oregon State game.

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