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USC's Robert Woods isn't thinking about NFL draft

Receiver, who goes into game at Arizona on Saturday with a USC-record 220 catches, says he is focused on the season and not on whether to explore turning pro.

October 24, 2012|By Gary Klein

After watching Robert Woods set a USC career record for receptions, Saturday against Colorado, Coach Lane Kiffin lobbied for the junior's return in 2013.

"Not only does he break the all-time receiving record with a year and a half still left," Kiffin said during a postgame news conference, "he's going to announce he's coming back here pretty soon."

Woods laughed.

On Tuesday, Woods said he had not thought about whether he would make himself available for the 2013 NFL draft or remain in school.

"Right now, I'm focused on this year and trying to make sure this year goes right," he said after practice. "We've still got a lot of games to play."

Woods, who caught a school-record four touchdown passes against Colorado, goes into Saturday's game at Arizona with 220 receptions in 21/2 seasons.

Woods said he was appreciative of quarterback Matt Barkley and safety T.J. McDonald, who considered turning pro before deciding to return to USC for their senior seasons.

"They came back for a reason," Woods said. "So we're going to play for them."

Woods has 44 receptions, nine for touchdowns. Sophomore Marqise Lee has 60, eight for touchdowns.

Lee said he didn't try to influence Barkley when he was pondering his decision, and he won't lobby Woods.

"He can make his own decision," Lee said. "Whatever decision Robert makes, I'm there for him. Support him the whole way."

Leonard Williams will play

USC announced that defensive tackle Leonard Williams, who was ejected from the Colorado game after committing a flagrant personal foul, would not be suspended by the Pac-12 Conference.

USC players had said that a Colorado player spit on Williams before the incident.

Williams, a freshman from Florida, has started the last three games. He has 81/2 tackles for losses, including 51/2 sacks.

Max Tuerk could start

Freshman Max Tuerk appears on track to start for the first time at left offensive tackle.

Aundrey Walker, who was carted off the field Saturday after suffering an undisclosed injury, did not practice and walked out of McKay Center near the end of the workout carrying a neck brace.

The 6-foot-6, 285-pound Tuerk rotated with Walker against Colorado. He said he would be prepared to play the entire game against Arizona if necessary.

"You've got to work hard every snap and you can't come out," he said. "You've got to be in the whole game."

Quick hit

USC is seeking its 800th victory. The Trojans are 799-315-54 since 1888 and rank ninth on college football's all-time victories list. Michigan is No. 1 with 900.

gary.klein@latimes.com

Twitter: @latimesklein

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