Freshmen update

A look at the freshmen and first year players for the Trojans

Matt Leinart

Came in with a big reputation and has looked accurate with excellent touch and a solid command of the offense. Battled Matt Cassel in fall camp for the #2 job and Chow clearly thinks Leinart has a bright future.

Billy Hart

Shows good mobility running for his life on the scout team. He is not as polished as Leinart but Billy is very smart and is a good athlete so he could do well in this system in a few years.

Darryl Poston

Very fast and a solid build. The coaches asked him to consider a move to corner but he wants a shot at TB and has broken off enough good runs in practice to believe he can contribute eventually.

David Kirtman

Better athlete than I expected but we haven't had an opportunity to see him do much yet. The lineup at tailback could be tough to crack and with his good size a move to linebacker might be in his future.

William Buchanan

Terrific skills. William has height, good hands, runs solid routes and has the instincts to play the position. What he doesn't have is weight and it would be ideal to redshirt him to allow him to bulk up but he has seen action so far and his role may grow in coming weeks.

Kolo Kapanui

At 247 lbs he could grow out of tight end very soon. Kolo moves well but is still an unknown commodity.

Shaun Cody

The complete package of size, speed and smarts. Has lived up to his billing so far and could be starting at defensive end before too long. What a future.

Mike Patterson

Ed Orgeron loves Patterson for his quick foot speed and large posterior. Mike has great leverage and his speed has earned him immediate playing time.

Jason Wardlow

Coaches would love to save his redshirt year because he has such a good future. Intense and active, he will be a major contributor next season.

Austin Jackson

He is the linebacker with size that we need in the middle. Austin has good instincts and is more athletic than originally anticipated. Will likely redshirt this year.

Bobby Otani

Looked a little lost at times against Kansas State but that is to be expected. Has the speed and hitting ability to grow into the prototype WLB in this defense.

David Boler

Hasn't made much of an impact at either wide receiver or safety.

John Walker

A future star. Walker is physical, active and energetic and the true freshman was one of the players leading the cheers in the middle of the huddle prior to the team running on the field for the opening game.

Devin Pitts

Has earned playing time and looked ok in practice with his good height, if we lose Marcell then Pitts is one of the guys who will need to step up.

Grant Mattos

Struggled against Kansas State but other than that he has been the surprise of the team. Work ethic, great hands and excellent routes make Mattos a solid contributor this season.

David Davis

Won the kicking job with a solid performance in fall camp. His strength is accuracy from 40 yards and in so the short kick last week should not have been a surprise.

Frank Candela

The "Flash" has been sidelined with a hamstring injury and hasn't dressed for the opening games. His main value is as a kick returner and unless his status changes soon he will likely redshirt.

Matt Hayward

A rare player who was given a scholarship to be a long snapper, Hayward gets the ball back quickly on punts and the coaches are pleased with his results so far.


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