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USC REPORT

Promotions Could Be in Order

September 01, 2004|Gary Klein | Times Staff Writer

USC has a bye this week, but that has not stopped freshman defensive end Jeff Schweiger from pushing for more playing time and, possibly, a spot in the starting lineup against Colorado State on Sept. 11.

"The coaches said it's time for guys to step up," Schweiger said Tuesday.

Promotions earned during a bye week are nothing new under Coach Pete Carroll.

Two years ago, for example, freshman Winston Justice did not play in the opener against Auburn. Two weeks later, after a bye, he started against Colorado at right tackle.

Schweiger, linebacker Keith Rivers, tight end Fred Davis and cornerback Eric Wright are among the players who could improve their prospects this week, according to Carroll.

Schweiger said he was thrilled to record a sack in front of a crowd of more than 91,000 in USC's victory over Virginia Tech at FedEx Field.

"To be playing in front of that many people was just amazing," he said. "My goal when I was working out here all summer was to get a sack in my first game against Virginia Tech."

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Sophomore quarterback John David Booty has not thrown a pass in nearly two weeks because of lingering soreness and numbness in his right elbow.

"I don't know what the deal is, but it's taking forever," Booty said. "I'm getting antsy, but there's nothing I can do about it. It's a freak deal."

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Freshman receiver Dwayne Jarrett returned to practice after missing Monday's workout to visit his family on the East Coast.

"I hadn't seen them for the whole summer," said Jarrett, who is from New Jersey. "They were missing me and I was missing them, so it was pretty cool."

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Cornerback John Walker worked at receiver and will do so throughout the bye week to help with depth, Carroll said.... Running back Hershel Dennis remains suspended indefinitely for violating team rules. Asked if he had set a date for Dennis' return, Carroll declined to be specific. "I have an idea in mind," he said. "We'll just have to wait and see how it works out." ... Freshmen defensive lineman Thomas Herring and tight end Eugene Germany are being held out while awaiting clearance from the NCAA Clearinghouse.... Rashaad Goodrum, a defensive end from Valley College who had arthroscopic knee surgery early in training camp, went through his first full workout.

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