Wilson, 'I'm like ribs and chicken'

The new USC defensive line reacts and adjusts to one another under coach Chris Wilson...

USC first year position coach Chris Wilson wasted no time letting his players know who was in charge when he took over the defensive line this winter.

First name, Chris. Last name, Wilson.

He is no one but himself and is certainly not the coach who spent the last three seasons coaching the Trojans defensive line.

"I'm a pretty good Chris Wilson and I just do me," Wilson said after Thursday's spring practice.

So what's it like to be Wilson?

"I'm kind of like ribs and chicken. I'm a combo," Wilson laughed, explaining "I do what's required for us to be successful.

"What that means is you have to know your players and how they respond and what they respond to."

Junior defensive lineman Leonard Williams told Scout he let Wilson come in with a clean slate, just as Wilson provided Williams with one.

Williams says Wilson came in on a mission, one the defensive line heard loud and clear.

"When he first got here he was just trying to show who was boss I guess," Williams said laughing. "So he definitely was hard on us, but I already knew why he was hard on us, so I just accepted it and he wants me to step up and be one of the leaders on the d-line so we are just working together now."

Redshirt freshman Kenny Bigelow echoed the same sentiment about his new position coach.

"He came in a little hard on us because he wanted to establish the idea that he is not [Ed Orgeron]," explained Bigelow. "He doesn't pretend to be. He is his own man and I respect him for that.

"At first there was a little head butting as there is with all new coaches, but he's a great coach and I'm willing and ready to work with him this season."

Wilson is more than ready to work with his new players. The Trojans defensive front is projected early to be one of - if not the best - in the Pac-12 Conference.

They return Williams, an All-American, as well as a host of other players with experience on the line including Antwaun Woods and J.R. Tavai.

Bigelow, a five-star recruit out of high school, is now entering his redshirt freshman season.

Texas Tech transfer Delvon Simmons will now be eligible for USC; they also picked up junior college transfer Claude Pelon this winter.

"We have a lot of talent and we have a lot of unproven talent," Wilson said. "They are strong, explosive. They are what you look for in any conference. They are raw, and that's where my role takes in. I have to do a really good job of coaching technique and effort.

"They are what you want. We are big an athletic across the board."

Williams is out for the spring recovering from a post season shoulder procedure. He is projected to resume football activity this summer.

Now in his second year at USC, Bigelow is seeing time with both the first and second team defense.

The No. 4 rated defensive tackle in the 2013 recruiting class, he hopes this is his year to breakout and contribute on the line.

"I definitely want to make it my year," Bigelow said. "I want to go out there and help the team."

Bigelow laughed when explaining he did not gain the freshman 15 [pounds] that most first year college students do. He said he actually lost it, as he changed his body to muscle.

"The new strength staff is definitely great," he said. "They took some extra time to work with me, ran us through some extra conditioning a couple times and it really helped, I really embraced it."

Bigelow summed up the transition that took place with the new coaching staff from December until now, saying "It was hard at first, I wont lie, but this is a new era, new family, new regime here at SC and I'm prepared and dedicated to the staff now."

Get in the discussion with other USC fans in the Fight On! SC Insiders Forum

USCFootball.com Top Stories