Uchenna Nwosu talks about returning to USC

USC linebacker Uchenna Nwosu says he hated being away from the team this past semester.

Sophomore linebacker Uchenna Nwosu played in 12 games last season, but did not participate in the Holiday Bowl because of an undisclosed off-the-field incident.

He was not enrolled at USC for the 2015 spring semester and was unable to take part in any team activities. But after a semester at a junior college, Nwosu has returned to campus, enrolled in school and is taking part in the summer conditioning workouts with his teammates.

"Summer workouts are going well," Nwosu said. "I like how they are organized and structured. You can leave for class on time, you can eat breakfast on time, everything is planned out good.

"It's just good to be back, good to get my legs back and everything is back."

Missing his first bowl game and spending a semester away didn't sit well with Nwosu.

"I hated it," he said. "Not being around my teammates, that is always a downside. But it's over now and I am happy to be back. I learned about maturity, always getting back in order, keeping a good head and keeping focused."

Now that he is back on the squad, the Trojan coaching staff had a clear, simple message for Nwosu going forward.

"They just want me to pick up where I left off," he said. "Keep up the intensity and hard work and everything is going to be good."

Over the past few months Nwosu kept his focus on returning to the team and making sure his body was ready for an eventual return.

"I was working out at STARS down in Anaheim," he said. "I was working out there and staying in shape, so nothing really was lost from a workout standpoint."

Since returning Nwosu has looked to pier leadership, specifically fellow linebacker Anthony Sarao and defensive lineman Antwaun Woods, to help him assimilate and get back into the swing of things.

"They say just remember who we are, we are 'SC, everyone stay focused as a team, just keep us all together and our heads level."

Position coach Peter Sirmon has also been giving advice to Nwosu and the rest of the linebackers.

"I think Coach Sirmon is trying to get us back to where the linebackers are supposed to be," Nwosu said. "He talks to everybody, what we need to do, what we need to work on, how he wants us to play and what our mindset needs to be."

As far as personal goals go, Nwosu has a simple one.

"Make my family proud," he said.

Nwosu said the junior college classes he took this spring will transfer over and that academically he is in good shape.

In 2014 Nwosu played mostly on special teams and had nine total tackles, two against Fresno State and one each against Stanford, Arizona State, Colorado, Utah, Washington State, California and UCLA.

Stay tuned to USCFootball.com for more updates on Nwosu and the Trojans as they get ready for fall camp and the 2015 season.

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Ryan Abraham has been the publisher of USCFootball.com since 1996. You can follow him on Twitter at @InsideTroy or email him at ryan@uscfootball.com .

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