Starr Starts College Life Focused

Longtime USC commit Scott Starr officially enrolled in the university this week. While he's only been a Trojan for a few days, he's been imagining this moment for years.

On Monday morning, before most of Scott Starr's family members were awake, the new USC Trojan was in class. Before he could watch the sun rise, he was attending a football meeting, sitting in the front row.

"It's USC football. I cannot complain," he said. "This is the most focused I've ever been in my life."

While most 18-year olds would play like Ferris Bueller and ditch their high school classes, or sleep in, Starr was awake and alert on this day. He wasn't playing with the small fish anymore. Rather, he was fulfilling a childhood dream.

Soon after a young Starr picked up the game of football, he became a fan of the program at USC. His dad Felix was a middle linebacker at Kansas State and taught him the position growing up. As a young teenager, Starr revered Clay Matthews and Brian Cushing.

"I knew from when I was a little kid that I was going to come here if I got offered a scholarship," Starr said. "But once I got into high school I had to die down on that [dream] because I didn't know if they were going to offer me a scholarship or not.

"It wasn't set in stone. So I had to cool it with the ‘SC stuff. But I revamped my love for SC when they started recruiting me. That love has always been there."

The love was so strong that Starr committed to USC a day after his offer.

He's been likened to the Trojan linebackers of the past, a bigger-bodied player with solid speed who can get to the quarterback or tackle in space. Christened as a mini-Clay or Cushing Junior, Starr said he appreciates the comparisons, but knows he is not at that caliber yet.

"It's an honor to be in the same conversation as those guys but to be realistic I'm nowhere near where they were in college," Starr said. "I'm not going to grow my hair out down to my back like Clay, that's his thing."

To become a member of the historic "Linebacker U," Scott said he plans to outwork everybody.

"Somebody is always more talented than you. Cushing and Clay didn't come in here and just manhandle everybody. They had to put in their time," he said.

The 6-3, 225-pound linebacker from Norco, Calif. hopes to gain about five pounds by spring ball. In high school his dad put him on a 6,000-calorie plan. He expects to eat similarly in college, putting his sole focus on football and academics.

"The talent level is amazingly high [at USC]. You can't slack off because there is always someone working harder than you so you have to go as hard as they do or else you're going to fall behind," he said.

Starr said he's not the partying type, but he has already come to learn that college isn't all about that anyway.

"College isn't like how you see in the movies, where there are red cups and everybody is partying everywhere. It's pretty normal, it's just like high school times a lot of people," he said.

He plans to take classes for his major, broadcast journalism, beginning next fall, and hopes to volunteer for a Christian-based group on campus if he gets time.

There are quite a few pastors and missionaries on his mom's side of the family. On his dad's side are athletes. Starr is fueled by religion and sports. But his motivation is expressed more through tackling than bible verses.

"I'm a religious guy but I'm not a Tim Tebow where you look up to me for that," he said.

But fans will look up to Starr for his style of play. And if he can come in early and make an impression during the offseason, those comparisons of "LBU," Cushing and Matthews won't just be hearsay anymore, they'll be real.


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