That's not just tradition, it's almost a state-law, so most kids that are any good are expected to be eventually wearing Scarlet and Cream.
Well, there's nothing like two national titles in a row to help the reputation of USC and now the local fan-base that has regained its momentum, the bandwagon firmly in place.
If you are a super-prep like
football player and you are living in
"That's all I ever hear, that I'm going or people ask me if I committed there," wide receiver David Ausberry said of the barrage of comments about his certain future as a Trojan. "Not a day goes by someone doesn't ask about it or comment about it. I think it's kind of funny."
The pressure is what it is, but it's hard to fault those in the local areas for thinking that Ausberry would one day find himself on campus at USC, eventually suiting up to hopefully be one of its next great receivers.
A Heisman winner at QB this year, plenty of Heisman hopeful quarterbacks in the till, Reggie Bush and All-Americans galore. Oh, and there is the thing about the two straight national titles and a head coach that every USC player seems to love. "He's a coaches' player from what I have heard," David said of Pete Carroll. "He is tough, but they all know he cares and he jokes around with them and everything."
"I can't say that's not what I want, because I think that's what every player wants, but I'm sure that you can get that at more places than just USC."
Ausberry will literally have his pick of those kinds of places to check out over the summer if he wants, some of the biggest of the big having offered him already in writing:
USC of course, along with
Ausberry has even went as far as
to tentatively schedule an official visit, one of the five total he's allowed.
And the first will probably be to see
When you look at the list of favorites Ausberry has, you'd say that just based on last year's record, Nebraska is the odd-man out. A struggling team, a new offense and a coaching staff still trying to get the kind of players in that fit their style of play.
Ausberry doesn't see that, however, as he says it's not where you've been, it's where you are going that matters in the end. "Tradition is nice and it's great to go to a place that has a great tradition, but it's about what they are going to do while I am there," David said. "I just want to go to a place that cares about winning and maybe they had a bad year one time, but one year doesn't make a tradition."
"I mean, just look at USC."
"A few years ago, nobody was talking about USC around here, but now, that's all you hear. Things can change pretty fast."
That they can and because of that, David says that his list, while one he currently likes is and will be in a certain state of flux. While none of the schools will easily find their way off, there's no telling in how many (if any) will find their way on.
That's what the off-season is about.
It's about enjoying not having school, but for one of the most popular wideouts in the country, it's time to get down to the nitty gritty of what makes some of these programs tick, what he likes, doesn't like and what is more important in the end. For his mother (Dorthea), she's pretty simple in that she cares only about one thing:
"There are lots of things I think about when it comes to David's future," she said. "He's going to do what he wants to do, because it's his decision, his life and nobody can live it for him. But I didn't just grow up out of the ground yesterday and if he can't see when something isn't right, I'll let him know myself."
"He's my son, so I care, but I also know that he knows what is right, he knows how to make good decisions and this will be one of the most important decisions he'll make and in some ways, we'll do that together."
The visits will also be together,
Dorthea already eagerly awaiting the trip inland to see the land of the big red.
If it's the
They will be, though, because David knows that with the offers he's received, the attention he's gotten thus far, he'll need to keep his list small, because if he doesn't, it will get a little out of control. After all, he's got trees to think about.
"There's so much mail, it's funny," David said of all the letters he gets from colleges. "Boxes here, there, at school; it's all over. I can't keep track of it all."
"Pretty soon, I won't be able to read everything I get."
Hard problem to have, I am sure you can agree, but David takes it in stride. He knows where he's at right now and appreciate where this trip is heading. Where that is, is totally up in the air, despite the currently small list. But, when it comes to making the journey to that final choice, he's adamant about having fun along the way.
"You can't let this stuff get to you or make you think something you aren't," he said. "I'm David, not some football star or any of that. I like kids, I want to teach kids when I get older and that's who I am. That's who I've always been."
"That's never going to change."