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USC football: Fullback Jahleel Pinner is catching on

August 12, 2013|By Gary Klein
  • USC players run through drills during a practice session last week.
USC players run through drills during a practice session last week. (Jae C. Hong / Associated…)

Before training camp began, USC Coach Lane Kiffin said the Trojans needed better performance this season from fullbacks Soma Vainuku and Jahleel Pinner.

Vainuku has been sidelined for much of camp because of injury, but Pinner has shown great improvement.

The sophomore from Rancho Santa Margarita is impressing coaches and teammates alike by catching short and long passes out of the backfield.

Pinner, who came to USC from Mission Viejo High, did not have a reception last season, but that could change if he continues to play like he did Sunday, when he made several good catches.

"It's just more repetitions," he said of his improved receiving skills. "I'm getting more comfortable and it's getting easier."

Brandon Hancock, David Kirtman and Stanley Havili were USC fullbacks that gave the Trojans pass-catching threats in the last decade.

"That's what I want to be," Pinner said, "so that's where I'm trying to get to right now."


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