USC's Chris Galippo plans to make presence known to Irish

Trojans' linebacker still recalls being slighted by Notre Dame Coach Charlie Weis during a recruiting trip. He says there are no hard feelings, but he's really looking forward to Saturday's game.

October 12, 2009|Gary Klein

USC middle linebacker Chris Galippo said it last year and he still feels the same:

No hard feelings.

But Galippo admits that he especially looks forward to being in the starting lineup when the sixth-ranked Trojans play at Notre Dame on Saturday.

Galippo, a third-year sophomore, visited Notre Dame as a high school junior, touring the campus with a group of highly rated prospects that included current Fighting Irish quarterback Jimmy Clausen and USC tailback Marc Tyler.

Galippo said Notre Dame Coach Charlie Weis was so intent on getting an oral commitment from Clausen that he neglected to speak to Galippo or even shake his hand.

"I came back home and committed to SC and then he gave me the call and said, 'We wanted you. You can start,' " said Galippo, who played at Anaheim Servite High. "I'm like, 'Ah, it's all right. I think I'll go to SC.'

"Even if he had talked to me during the visit, I would have come [to USC]. But it would be nice to at least get a handshake."

As a USC freshman in 2007, Galippo missed a chance to play at Notre Dame Stadium because of back surgery that forced him to redshirt. Last season, he played on special teams and as a reserve but did not make a tackle in the Trojans' 38-3 victory over the Fighting Irish at the Coliseum.

Galippo is now the leading tackler for a team that ranks fourth nationally in scoring defense (8.6 points per game), fifth in rushing defense (64.8 yards a game) and sixth in total defense (238.6 yards per game).

"It's a cool rivalry," Galippo said. "We know a lot of those guys and Jimmy still comes out and hangs out with us, so we're all still friends."

Galippo is glad to be physically sound as the Trojans approach the season's midpoint.

Before USC's game at California on Oct. 3, he required two bags of intravenous fluids because of dehydration caused by flu symptoms. Galippo still had five tackles, including a sack, in a 30-3 victory.

An open date last week allowed him to regain his strength for the Fighting Irish.

"It's going to be awesome," he said.


Quick hits

The Trojans resume practice today after two days off. . . . Receiver Ronald Johnson (collarbone) is hoping to be cleared for contact so he can play Saturday.


Up next

USC (4-1)


Saturday at South Bend, Ind.

12:30 p.m. PDT, Channel 4


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