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USC football: Chris Willson steps up at tight end

October 27, 2013|By Gary Klein
  • USC tight end Chris Willson, left, tries to power his way past Utah defensive back Justin Thomas during the first half of the Trojans' 19-3 win Saturday.
USC tight end Chris Willson, left, tries to power his way past Utah defensive… (Luis Sinco / MCT )

USC tight end Chris Willson described it as a “surreal” experience.

Willson, a fourth-year junior who played at Santa Fe Springs St. Paul High, transferred to USC this season from Wake Forest, where he played baseball and quarterback during spring practice.

But with all of USC’s scholarship tight ends sidelined because of injuries, the 6-foot-6, 245-pound Willson stepped in and caught a pass during the Trojans’ 19-3 victory over Utah.

“Every week, they tell us to get ready as if we’re starting,” said Willson, who had previously played for the Trojans only on a few field-goal attempts. “I’ve been doing that all season, so it really wasn’t a huge jump getting ready for this game.

“But getting out there on the field was a little different for me.”

Willson caught a five-yard pass from Cody Kessler.

“I was the third option, so when he scrambled out of the pocket, he just saw me,” Willson said. “We made eye contact and he knows I’ll hold onto the ball.

“I’m upset I put my knee down, but I’m glad I secured the catch.”

After the game, Willson said he took a few moments to consider how far he had come.

“I took some time to sit in the locker room by myself just reflecting on what just happened,” Willson said. “I have a lot to work on, definitely, but I have a lot to look forward to and I enjoy playing tight end.”


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