Pullard talks "leading by example"

USC linebacker Hayes Pullard has stepped in to lead the Trojans on defense and wants to continue the legacy of other great USC leaders before him.

Hayes Pullard entered spring practice with big shoes to fill. Two pairs to be exact. With the departure of safety T.J. McDonald and cornerback Nickell Robey, the USC defense needed a leader.

Enter Pullard.

He started to lead the Trojans during spring and is continuing to do so during their summer workouts. According to Pullard, his leadership strategy is teaching by example.

"I still talk to T.J and Nickell and all the older guys I looked up to as I was growing up and they just kept telling me I had to be the motivator," said Pullard. "That's the role I've been trying to come out here come out here and lead by example each day."

Pullard says this leadership philosophy was passed on to him from players he looked up to, like McDonald.

"T.J. McDonald most of all," said Pullard. "He was the older brother I always had, when I first stepped foot onto this campus he took me under his wing, and that's the type of brothership role that I actually want to take hold of this year."

Pullard will be one of two Trojan players--the other being Marqise Lee--to join head coach Lane Kiffin for Pac-12 media day. Despite the honor, Pullard isn't reading too much into it as speculation of his potential captain nomination has been circulating around USC.

"Captains lead all year, we're only in like our third week of summer workouts. You have to lead this whole summer, you have to lead in football camp and you have to lead in the season, so captains show it's not just right now."

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