Shane Horton transferred to USC so he could play on the same team with his younger brother.
But he did not envision that he would start at linebacker.
That, however, is what the third-year sophomore will do Saturday when seventh-ranked USC plays No. 24 California at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley.
Coach Pete Carroll said Thursday that Horton, who was switched from safety before training camp, would start at the weak-side spot because the Trojans have been thinned by ankle injuries suffered by Malcolm Smith and Jordan Campbell.
It's more than a dream come true for the 6-foot-1, 220-pound Horton, who will join his brother, redshirt freshman defensive end Wes Horton, in the starting lineup.
"To be on the field with the person I love the most in my life and to be doing what we do best with one of the best programs in the nation, you can't ask for too much more," Shane Horton said.
According to USC's sports information office, brothers have not started for the Trojans in the same game since senior defensive lineman Don Gibson and freshman center Craig Gibson started the last seven games of the 1990 season.
The Hortons had last played together at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame High in 2006.
Shane graduated in 2007 and accepted a scholarship to Nevada Las Vegas, where he started six games at safety as a true freshman.
He transferred to USC in the spring of 2008, playing safety during spring workouts and redshirting in the fall.
In August, when incoming freshman linebacker Frankie Telfort was diagnosed with a heart condition that ended his playing career, Shane Horton sensed he might be changing positions.
A text message from defensive coordinator Rocky Seto the day before training camp all but made it official.
"The message said, 'Come to my office,' " Shane Horton recalled. "I knew what it was right away."
Shane had six tackles against Washington State and hopes to build on the experience against Cal.
"He's still new to the position and we're going to be coaching him all the way through game-time and throughout," Carroll said.
Quarterback Mitch Mustain performed well during practice this week, but so did Aaron Corp, so Corp remains No. 2 behind starter Matt Barkley, Carroll said. . . . Defensive lineman Nick Perry practiced again Thursday despite a knee bruise and will play against Cal.