April 26, 2012 |
No. 4 Minnesota Vikings: T Matt Kalil, USC - - The younger brother of Carolina's Ryan Kalil, the highest-paid center in the NFL, Matt is widely viewed as the top tackle in the draft. He initially backed up Tyron Smith at right tackle, then, as a sophomore, beat out Smith for the vacancy at left tackle. Kalil has a large collection of remote-controlled cars that he raced this off-season when he wasn't working out for the draft. Comment: Christian Ponder was sacked 30 times in 10 starts and the Vikings surrendered 49 sacks overall.
September 2, 2008 |
While the Beanie Wells watch continues in Ohio this week, USC's open date on Saturday allows the Trojans to turn inward. The focus, as per Pete Carroll's bye-week formula, will be on freshmen. Offensive linemen Tyron Smith, Khaled Holmes and Matt Kalil are expected to get extensive work with the first-team offense when the Trojans return to practice today. "We'll see how far they can take it," Carroll said. "I don't have any goal in mind." For all of the talk about competition and positions being up for grabs on a daily basis at USC, only one offensive lineman has gone from reserve to starter status based on merit during a bye week after an opener.
September 8, 2009 |
USC's offensive line has played only one game in its current configuration and is readying for a test on Saturday at Ohio State. But the unit left quite an impression on San Jose State Coach Dick Tomey . On Monday, after reviewing tape of the Trojans' season-opening 56-3 victory over the Spartans, Tomey said the Trojans' line was "the best I've competed against as a coach," adding that the Trojans "might have four first-round draft choices...
April 29, 2011 |
At USC's pro day workout last month, Tyron Smith said he accepted an invitation to New York for the first round of the NFL draft without fear that he might sit fidgeting in the green room at Radio City Music Hall. The offensive tackle's confidence was well-founded. Taken ninth by the Dallas Cowboys, Smith didn't have to wait long Thursday. The former Moreno Valley Rancho Verde High star was the first offensive lineman chosen and the first offensive lineman in 30 years to be selected by the Cowboys in the first round.
November 7, 2010 |
USC's last-minute, 34-33 victory over Arizona State cast the spotlight on Trojans special teams ? for better and worse. The good: The Trojans blocked two punts and also an extra-point attempt, Torin Harris returning the latter for two points and setting the stage for Joe Houston's winning field goal four minutes later. Jake Harfman averaged 43.5 yards a punt, and Mitch Mustain completed what turned out to be a crucial two-point conversion pass. The bad: Houston missed two field-goal attempts, and the Trojans gave up a 100-yard kickoff return.
August 31, 2010 |
The final piece of USC's starting lineup fell into place Tuesday when Coach Lane Kiffin announced that Khaled Holmes would start at right guard Thursday against Hawaii. Kiffin made the announcement after the Trojans practiced on campus before departing for Honolulu. Holmes had been the projected starter, but his status for the opener was uncertain because of neck soreness that had forced him to sit out practices last week and limited him Monday. The 6-foot-4, 300-pound Holmes, a third-year sophomore, is the brother of former USC tight end Alex Holmes . Holmes, who played in three games last season, will be part of an offensive line that includes senior center Kristofer O'Dowd , junior right tackle Tyron Smith , senior left guard Butch Lewis and sophomore left tackle Matt Kalil . "We'll definitely gel," Holmes said this week.