Just Sayin' . . . after spring

Focus should be forward from here on for this USC football team . . . We're 'Just Sayin'. Now it's up to this team to keep doing.

Some moments have a way of bringing you back to reality. As happened Saturday when we were tracking down USC players and coaches among the fans and family on the Coliseum turf after the Spring Game.

And on the P.A., you heard the words reminding everyone that USC would be seeing them again here Sept. 5 for the Arkansas State game.

That's the next official football date on the schedule. But in the less than five months until the kickoff of the 2015 season, there's a lot that has to happen following an upbeat spring for a program full of potential right now.

We're Just Sayin'. Saturday wasn't so much the end of spring but the start of the runup for the fall.

*** That's the key for how successful spring has been -- what happens next . . . Just Sayin'

*** And if the reaction of these players is any sign, they pretty much get it. There's a lot of work to do to get from here to there. And what will determine how successful spring has been is what happens next . . . Just Sayin'

*** Interestingly this year, Steve Sarkisian did not have to close the second-last practice to show his team how to handle itself on its own through the summer throwing sessions. They know how, as last year proved, to do that . . . Just Sayin'

*** The hope here is that it continues with the coaches, as the talk -- and actions -- through winter and spring have made a central focus: a tougher, more aggressive, more physical brand of football returning to USC for the entirity of the 2015 season. No other way for Trojans to play . . . Just Sayin'

*** And for those asking what can USC do right now about the NCAA, here's one example. Scholarship Connor Spears for one. He's earned one . . . Just Sayin'.

*** USC is far under the 85 limit. Wait, you say, USC has used up all its original grants for 2015. So what. This is when USC stands tall for a moment, announces to the Committee on Infractions, that its penalties are null and void as of this moment. And USC will be getting back to where it should be numbers-wise immediately. . .Just Sayin'.

*** And that USC plans to announce to the NCAA that it will approve whatever it takes for the Trojans to be as near the 85 number to start the fall as it chooses to be. It's that simple . . . Just Sayin'

*** Should the NCAA say no, USC would request a hearing as is its right, before the COI, but also demand that in preparation for the hearing, USC will immediately be given the final 200 pages the NCAA is holding back in the McNair case . . . Just Sayin'.

*** Sure, it'd be nice to have Reggie Bush not banned for life from USC but that would be down around No. 25 on our list of requests to redress the scandalous conduct of the COI members and staff in illegally convicting and penalizing USC nearly five years ago . . . Just Sayin'.

*** Get the roster right right now. Get the numbers up. And just because Connor has been here only a year and a half instead of the two years it would take by NCAA rules to allow him not to be considered an initial grant, that should not limit Connor from getting a scholarship he's surely earned . . . Just Sayin'

*** From here on out, just as Ohio State and Oregon and Miami and UNC and Auburn did, USC should be telling the NCAA what will happen next, not asking pretty please from these corruptocrats who understand nothing of fairness or doing the right thing. We're way past that . . . Just Sayin'

*** And while getting the scholarships right for 2015 is a bit off the main topic, which is getting USC football right, it would be a great way to start the post-spring period for a newly and fully and finally "aggressive" USC football program . . . Just Sayin'.

*** And it would send exactly the right message to USC's players, the Trojan community, the Pac-12 and the nation . . . Just Sayin'.

*** C'mon Pat, get it together on this one. It should be a gimme . . . Just Sayin'.

*** And while there's no way we can predict the injury rehab rates and/or student judicial/academic outcomes for all the eight or so potential starters who missed the spring game, we can say this about what will sustain this team coming out of spring -- competition . . . Just Sayin'.

*** You think Juju Smith played especially motivated Saturday? He did. The motivator? Steven Mitchell. Nothing works better . . . Just Sayin'.

*** But it's much more. As Pete Carroll proved so well, nothing works better than that kind of competition, day after day, play after play . . . Just Sayin'.

*** And now, when everybody is back and as they return the next four months, the competition returns as well. And this staff has really handled the competition thing well. For the most part, if you deserve to play, you will . . . Just Sayin'.

*** We're going to see it in groups, as well. Down to three/four scholarship players, the D-line made the much more fully stocked O-line work its collective tail off this spring . . .Just Sayin'.

*** And more than that. The wide receiver group is vying with the quarterbacks to lead this offense. We like that . . . Just Sayin'.

*** But first they have to figure out how to handle Kevon Seymour and a secondary that's not backing off . . . Just Sayin'.

*** One thing more than getting healthy coming out of the spring is getting the run game right. It's not. As certainly it shouldn't be considering no Tre Madden, a new O-line coach/run game coordinator in Bob Connelly and the way spring went. But it's time now to get it going . . . Just Sayin'.

*** We also like how Su'a Cravens, who will be the face of this USC defense, has so completely bought in to the way the coaches are using him -- and vice versa. Wasn't that way a year ago and that makes a big difference . . . Just Sayin'.

*** We also like how the hat is going to be on USC in the preseason polls. It's good for the fans and could be good for the players. But as Adoree Jackson pointed out Saturday, USC was No. 1 in the preseason three years ago and how did that work out? . . . Just Sayin'.

*** This won't be about what others think about USC so much but what USC does about itself -- in every way . . . Just Sayin'.

We think they get that. At least that's how it looks from here although we're "Just Sayin'. " The Trojans have to do the doing.

You can follow me on Twitter at @dweber3440 or email me at weber@uscfootball.com.


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