Answer: I think we had a great offseason. I think we started fast, guys were really hungry this year. Then the young guys came in of course the second part of the summer and they were really developing I think. Coaches did a great job with this recruiting class. We have some great talent that I think is going to really help us this fall. But overall, in the offseason I’d give us a – if I had to grade us – I’d give us an A.
Q: Do you know where you’re going to be playing this year? Safety? Cornerback? Both?
A: Corner. For sure, you shouldn’t even see me in the deep middle of the field. I shouldn’t even be at safety.
Q: Is cornerback where you wanted to settle?
A: Yeah, that’s what I want to do. So this is my first time since I’ve been here at USC, having the opportunity to really just focus on one position and then going into the fall playing that position solely. So I’m very excited to see what happens this fall.
Josh Shaw coaches up Adoree Jackson.
Q: What do you see from Juju Smith and Adoree Jackson, who you’ve been helping on defense?
A: I think those are two guys who can come in and help us this fall, definitely. Adoree – he’s an athlete. He’s very very explosive and it just seems like he doesn’t even get tired. We do conditioning in the morning and Adoree is always one of those guys in the front of the line, which is surprising for a freshman. Usually, they are the kind of the guys you want to bring along saying ‘hustle, hustle get up here with the older guys’… but Adoree is right up there with us. And same with Juju. Those guys, I think they’re kind of separating themselves in that group and Ajene [Harris], they just working extremely hard and Juju, I think, I don’t know where you’ll see him this fall. Either or. Receiver or corner, safety, or both. Both of them.
Josh Shaw at summer practice.
Q: What about the other freshmen DBs, how well have you gotten to know them?
A: I like Lamont [Simmons]. I kind of definitely want to take him under my wing, too. I remember when he was on his recruiting visit, I sat up there with him in the Coliseum with his parents and stuff and just hit it off with him. Lamont is just a good kid. He’s long and he’s kind of the Richard Sherman type of corner, so I think [coach Keith] Heyward is going to have a lot of fun with him.
Q: Speaking of Richard Sherman, what NFL corners has your game been compared to?
A: I think most of my comparisons would be a Patrick Peterson type guy. This offseason I’ve definitely watched a lot of Pat Tillman from the Bears, Joe Haden from Cleveland. I’ve watched Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman was my first study and Patrick Peterson was my second study this summer. So just trying to take a little bit from them.
Q: With the NFL draft projections that have come out, does that affect your mindset?
A: It doesn’t affect me at all. I think it does help that I don’t have social media at all. So a lot of stuff I don’t see. I think it probably could mess with some peoples heads and what not, but it doesn’t mess with mine at all. Although I don’t have social media, I hear some things from family or what not or close teammates and stuff. But it doesn’t affect me at all. It’s just projections.