Wheeler on winning staring LT job

USC offensive lineman Chad Wheeler discusses winning the left tackle battle and prepping for his first start as a Trojan.

The Trojans are officially in game week mode, and while the USC squad still has nine positios with co-starters, left takcle is not one of them. Offensive lineman Chad Wheeler officially won that battle on Saturday and will be making his college start against Hawaii on Thursday.

"It feels like the first day I started camp," said Wheeler about winning the competition. "Just doing what the coaches telling me and applying myself to whatever they need me to be."

Wheeler came into Fall Camp listed as a co-starter at right tackle and made the transition to left tackle early during the preseason. He says the only big difference has been the "stance."

"It hasn't bee bad," said Wheeler. "I played left tackle last year on the service team, so I'm really comfortable on that side. It wasn't that big of a transition."

Left tacle is often a highly criticized position, as they protect the quarterback's blind side. However, Wheeler says he has been dealing with the pressure just fine.

"It is a highly criticized position. You got to be on your game and the coaches are going to take care of me and my teammates and we're going to take care of each other," said Wheeler. "I'm taking it well."

When Wheeler steps up to the line and makes his first career start as a Trojan on Thursday, he says he's going to "just try to get angry."

"Whenever I'm in the huddle, I just take a deep breath, listen to the call and then I just try to get angry right before the snap," said Wheeler."

Wheeler joked that he thinks about the coaches in order to spark his fire, but really says he just "thinks about protecting [his] brothers and teammates."

The Trojans will leave for the Aloha state in just a few days, and in the meantime Wheeler says he is fine-tuning his game.

"I'm just continuing to work on my technique and learning my assignments," said Wheeler. "Just trying to focus on breaking down Hawaii's defense. They're a great team. They're highly respected, so I'm just trying to get a grasp of what they're about."

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