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USC REPORT

Morton is hired as an assistant

February 06, 2007|Gary Klein | Times Staff Writer

John Morton, who has coached in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints and the Oakland Raiders, will replace Lane Kiffin on USC's staff, Coach Pete Carroll said Monday.

Morton was an offensive assistant and passing game coach this season for the Saints. He will be the Trojans' receivers coach and passing game coordinator.

Morton, 37, worked for the Raiders for seven years and was a member of the coaching staff in 2002-04. USC assistant head coach Steve Sarkisian was the Raiders' quarterbacks coach in 2004.

"They communicated and competed together, which is important to me," Carroll said. "He's been in the league a long time and been exposed to that level of competition, which I think brings a tremendous asset to us."

Graduate assistant Yogi Roth, who last week accepted a job as an offensive assistant for the Raiders, also will remain on the Trojans' staff.

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Running back Desmond Reed is awaiting test results on his leg that could determine his future in the program. Reed mainly returned punts last season after suffering nerve damage at Notre Dame in 2005. Reed said last week that he would like a larger role, but wanted to see if the nerve had regenerated before making a decision about next season.

gary.klein@latimes.com

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