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December 14, 2010 | By Gary Klein
Draft-eligible college players have another month to declare for the NFL draft, but USC defensive tackle Jurrell Casey and offensive tackle Tyron Smith couldn't wait. The juniors, both first-team All-Pacific 10 Conference selections, are making themselves available for the April draft. "I just felt it was the best time for me to do what I've wanted to do all my life," Casey said Tuesday in a telephone interview. Smith's father Roy said his son met with Coach Lane Kiffin last week and had informed offensive line coach James Cregg of his decision to turn pro. The departures come as no surprise.
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SPORTS
April 26, 2012 | By Sam Farmer
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.
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SPORTS
March 29, 2011 | By Sam Farmer
The long and the short of NFL draft preparation for UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers is, more appropriately, the short and the long of it. Unless he does very well in the short term — dazzling NFL scouts Tuesday at UCLA's pro day — he will have an uncomfortably long wait in next month's draft. Ayers risks slipping out of the first round unless he puts up much better numbers than he did in February at the scouting combine, when he chugged through the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds, redefining the term "speed rusher.
SPORTS
August 19, 2011 | By Gary Klein
USC's Matt Kalil is regarded as one of the elite left tackles in college football, a top prospect at one of the NFL's premium positions. But the 6-foot-7, 295-pound junior is trying to put 2012 draft forecasts out of his mind. "It's pretty cool having those [projections] about you, I'm not going to lie," he said this week. "But I care about the ones after the season. "It's all about my team right now. That's what I'm focused on. " Kalil returned Friday after sitting out a few days of practices because of knee soreness.
SPORTS
April 26, 2012 | By Sam Farmer
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.
SPORTS
September 2, 2008 | Gary Klein, Times Staff Writer
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.
SPORTS
September 8, 2009 | Gary Klein
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...
SPORTS
April 29, 2011 | Gary Klein
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.
SPORTS
November 7, 2010 | By Gary Klein
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.
SPORTS
August 31, 2010 | By Gary Klein
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.
SPORTS
April 29, 2011 | Gary Klein
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.
SPORTS
March 30, 2011 | By Sam Farmer and Gary Klein
Tyron Smith has simultaneously put on 25 pounds and lightened his load. The USC offensive tackle no longer has to make the weighty decision of where to watch next month's NFL draft. He has accepted the league's offer to await his selection at Radio City Music Hall. Not so long ago, that would have been a controversial choice. The NFL Players Assn. initially encouraged the elite prospects to snub any such offer from the league, reasoning that those players should not support a league that had locked them out. The decertified union promised to plan an "alternative" celebration in New York.
SPORTS
March 29, 2011 | By Sam Farmer
The long and the short of NFL draft preparation for UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers is, more appropriately, the short and the long of it. Unless he does very well in the short term — dazzling NFL scouts Tuesday at UCLA's pro day — he will have an uncomfortably long wait in next month's draft. Ayers risks slipping out of the first round unless he puts up much better numbers than he did in February at the scouting combine, when he chugged through the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds, redefining the term "speed rusher.
SPORTS
December 14, 2010 | By Gary Klein
Draft-eligible college players have another month to declare for the NFL draft, but USC defensive tackle Jurrell Casey and offensive tackle Tyron Smith couldn't wait. The juniors, both first-team All-Pacific 10 Conference selections, are making themselves available for the April draft. "I just felt it was the best time for me to do what I've wanted to do all my life," Casey said Tuesday in a telephone interview. Smith's father Roy said his son met with Coach Lane Kiffin last week and had informed offensive line coach James Cregg of his decision to turn pro. The departures come as no surprise.
SPORTS
November 7, 2010 | By Gary Klein
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.
SPORTS
August 31, 2010 | By Gary Klein
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.
SPORTS
August 19, 2011 | By Gary Klein
USC's Matt Kalil is regarded as one of the elite left tackles in college football, a top prospect at one of the NFL's premium positions. But the 6-foot-7, 295-pound junior is trying to put 2012 draft forecasts out of his mind. "It's pretty cool having those [projections] about you, I'm not going to lie," he said this week. "But I care about the ones after the season. "It's all about my team right now. That's what I'm focused on. " Kalil returned Friday after sitting out a few days of practices because of knee soreness.
SPORTS
March 30, 2011 | By Sam Farmer and Gary Klein
Tyron Smith has simultaneously put on 25 pounds and lightened his load. The USC offensive tackle no longer has to make the weighty decision of where to watch next month's NFL draft. He has accepted the league's offer to await his selection at Radio City Music Hall. Not so long ago, that would have been a controversial choice. The NFL Players Assn. initially encouraged the elite prospects to snub any such offer from the league, reasoning that those players should not support a league that had locked them out. The decertified union promised to plan an "alternative" celebration in New York.
SPORTS
December 22, 2009 | By Gary Klein and Lance Pugmire
Joe McKnight's chances of playing for USC in the Emerald Bowl appeared to dim Monday when the junior tailback did not accompany the Trojans to the Bay Area for the start of practices and activities leading into Saturday's game against Boston College. USC is investigating McKnight's use of a sport utility vehicle that is owned by a Santa Monica businessman. It may constitute a violation of NCAA rules that prohibit student-athletes from accepting benefits from marketing representatives or agents, or "extra benefits" from anyone based on athletic ability.
SPORTS
September 8, 2009 | Gary Klein
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...
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