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USC football players mostly staying put

Linebacker Jordan Campbell is leaving, but others have been resisting transfer feelers since NCAA sanctions. Trojans try to keep recruit class intact.

June 30, 2010|By Gary Klein

In the wake of NCAA sanctions that allow USC football players who are juniors and seniors to transfer without the usual penalty of sitting out a season, several Trojans have received inquiries from other schools.

Mitch Mustain, a high-profile but seldom-used senior quarterback, was among them.

But he says he didn't return any phone calls or text messages.

"Why would I?" he said. "I'm not going anywhere."

So far, only one USC player is.

Linebacker Jordan Campbell is the only Trojans player who has told media outlets that he was leaving USC. But Campbell's departure was not a surprise.

Coach Lane Kiffin suspended Campbell from team activities before and during spring practice. Campbell also was involved in an altercation during the spring, and Kiffin gave no indication that the fourth-year junior from Norco High would be reinstated in the fall.

Campbell has said he would transfer to Louisville.

Before the sanctions were announced, sophomore linebacker Jarvis Jones was granted a release to transfer. Jones suffered a neck injury last season and his status at USC was uncertain because physicians had not cleared him to return. Jones is reportedly transferring to Georgia, near his home.

Senior tailbacks Allen Bradford and C.J. Gable are among other Trojans upperclassmen who have received feelers.

"It's like recruiting all over again," Bradford said. "Everyone has to do what's best for them."

Bradford said he was looking forward to playing a primary role in his final season at USC. Gable tweeted last month that he was not leaving the Trojans.

Meantime, Kiffin and his staff are attempting to hold on to members of the incoming recruiting class, especially offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson, who reportedly is vacillating about his decision to play for the Trojans.

Sophomore quarterback Matt Barkley has attempted to help keep older teammates engaged as the Trojans prepare for the start of camp in August.

"Some of these guys that are getting calls, I'm just trying to keep them on board and realize that we're still a team, we're still intact," Barkley said. "The message is 'We don't want to mess any of that up and you're still a valuable asset to us.' "

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