Redshirt senior defensive tackle Cody Temple is tough to miss on the USC practice field. The 6-foot-2, 310 pound former offensive lineman has a mane of strawberry blonde hair coming out of his helmet and going halfway down his back.
The mild-mannered Temple isn't trying to make a fashion statement with his long locks. His hair gives him a quiet and meaningful outlet to pay tribute to lost loved ones.
"A lot of people think that I grew out my hair for a certain look or that it was just my style, but really it was a supportive issue with my grandma getting cancer," Temple explained. "I was thinking that if there was one little thing that I could do to support her, I'll do it. I'll wear pink here and there, I'll wear it more than most people probably would."
Coming to USC via Liberty High School in Bakersfield (Calif.), Temple arrived on campus with his hair already grown out.
"We had that rookie show my freshman year and a lot of people used to ham me about the hair, 'Oh, you just think you're cool,' or, 'You think you're some metal head,'" Temple said. "I may be a metal head, raised up as a rock star, but that wasn't the reason for growing out the hair. I told everyone the reason why I grew it and then during camp Marqise Lee jumped up and chopped it off."
Temple wanted to donate his hair to an organization like Locks of Love, not realizing there was more to the process than just cutting his hair off.
"It wasn't necessarily lengthened the right way," he said. "It was supposed to be measured and everything for the organization to accept it. It is a good story though, Marqise Lee chopped my hair off my freshman year in college, so I can't complain about that."
Temple was going to leave his hair cut at that point, until another cancer tragedy hit close to home.
"A friend of mine James Liles from my high school had also been fighting through cancer," Temple said. "He was a hell of a player freshman year, he battled through cancer his sophomore year and tried coming back but he couldn't really get to it. Then senior year he was just part of the team.
"After I left for college he ended up passing away from it. It was just another reminder for me and me doing something small to try and make a difference, whether someone notices it or I do donate it.
"It is something so small that I feel that I can do. I may not have the cleanest hair, I have to take care of it, but it is something I felt I could be supportive with."
This time around Temple would like to put his hair to good use for someone else fighting cancer.
"I am going to look into Locks of Love and if there is any way I can support fighting cancer through football, through my personal life, anything, I am going to. For both James, my grandmother and everyone else in my family who has been through it."
While Temple's USC football career has been ridden by unfortunate injuries, he is now 100% healthy and ready to finally make an impact on the gridiron. But in the grand scheme of things, what Temple is doing off the field could have a bigger impact than anything he does on it.
"This has been a fun experience. I can build from it and learn from it, whether someone wants to take my hair or not this time. It's the image, that is my reason for it, it isn't for some idol, it's just one little way to support a cause."
Cody Temple and his fiancé are expecting their first child any day now. He is a sociology major at USC.
Stay tuned to USCFootball.com for more updates as the Trojans get ready for the 2015 season.
Ryan Abraham has been the publisher of USCFootball.com since 1996. You can follow him on Twitter at @InsideTroy or email him at email@example.com .