O/NSO - Celebration edition

With Pete Carroll crisscrossing the country like a candidate running for office aboard Air Force One, cardinal and gold graduation, College Football Hall of Fame celebration, a supplemental Trojan temptation, rumor circulation, and prep combine demonstration highlight another spring week of USC "off season" football.

The Obvious – With Pete Carroll crisscrossing the country like a candidate running for office aboard Air Force One, cardinal and gold graduation, College Football Hall of Fame celebration, a supplemental Trojan temptation, rumor circulation, and prep combine demonstration highlight another spring week of USC "off season" football.

The Not So Obvious – While the two-time defending national champion Trojans seem be the hot number for recruits from Pennsylvania to Texas, another number of equal value is ongoing with the administration of the new SAT test to potential Pete Carroll recruits. The new grueling five hour test and its 2,400 perfect score is something Trojan fans may want to learn more about, especially when it comes to new minimum NCAA score requirements and just what it will take to wear a cardinal and gold uniform in 2006.

The Obvious – Former Trojan linebacker Bobby Otani received his degree in sociology and walked the USC graduation line.

The No So Obvious – For Trojan medical redshirts like Otani who are forced to give up football due to injury it's almost forgotten that they continue their USC education and leave the University with that all important degree. So appreciative of the fact he could play for his childhood dream university, it should be noted that Otani always said being a Trojan meant more to him than most. Congratulations to the former Oxnard St. Bonaventure star.

The Obvious – Legendary Trojan tailback Anthony Davis has been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame, located in South Bend, Indiana.

The Not So Obvious – With Pete Carroll's Trojans traveling back to South Bend in mid-October for another meeting with The Irish, how appropriate that A.D. will be enshrined in South Bend, considering his 11 career touchdowns against The Irish. No word yet if ND coach Ara Parsegian, tormented for three years by Davis, will be No. 28's enshrinement presenter. For Trojan fans traveling to South Bend, do yourself a favor and visit the College Football Hall of Fame. It's certainly sets the table for the Notre Dame Weekender if you have the time. Check it out at www.collegefootball.org.

The Obvious – Junior defensive tackle Manuel Wright declares for the NFL by way of the NFL supplemental draft.

The Not So Obvious –Wright's final saga reminds us of the foreshadowing comments made by current Notre Dame defensive tackle Derek Landri, who faced Wright some years ago when Concord De La Salle beat Long Beach Poly in the Prep Game of the Century at Long Beach Veteran's Stadium. Landri, who also played on the offensive line for CDL said, " Manuel Wright is incredibly talented. If he ever gets his technique (discipline) together, he'll be unstoppable." Best of luck to No. 92.

The Obvious – The Trojans open the season at Hawaii on Saturday evening, Sept. 3.

The Not So Obvious – The Hawaii promotional department has designated the Aloha Stadium game against the two-time defending national champions as a "Green-Out" game, and all Hawaii fans are being encouraged to wear green attire.

The Obvious – Pete Carroll goes public and says that rumors of redshirt freshman quarterback Rocky Hinds transferring to UNLV are unfounded.

The Not So Obvious – There is interest in this story because it won't go away, and Hinds hasn't himself said they were untrue. Rocky, who is third on the depth chart behind Matt Leinart and John David Booty, is far more skilled than one USC-to-UNLV quarterback transfer, Jason Thomas. It should be also noted that UNLV is now being directed by former Trojan coach and player Mike Sanford, who replaced Jolly John Robinson. Sanford has a staff of former Trojans in former USC linebacker Kurt Barber and former Trojan coaches Gary Bernardi, and Keith Uperesa.

The Obvious – There is no better rivalry around than the one called USC vs UCLA.

The Not So Obvious – So here's one you might get a chortle over. A new Southern California high school will open next fall and a discussion was held over what the school colors should be. Well, the superintendent of the unnamed district wanted the colors of the new school to be cardinal and gold because he loves the Trojans. So, when he hired the new principal, she refused the "Trojan" colors and wanted blue and gold because you know why? She's a UCLA grad. So they compromise on black, red, and gold. Well, at least they left out the power blue. No word yet on the fight song. Hmmmmmm.

The Obvious – Pete Carroll has quite a promotion going on with a large sporting goods chain for his youth camp in June.

The Not So Obvious – According to radio advertisements, 100 youngsters will be selected from a drawing for free camping at one of Carroll's football camps.

The Obvious – The Trojans are waiting on Admissions to give the green light for Harbor JC receiver Mike Bolio (6-0, 195) to enter coach Lane Kiffin's stable of thoroughbred receivers.

The Not So Obvious – Under the radar of most recruiting experts due to a succession of on and off the field injuries limiting his early playing career, Bolio emerged at Harbor College last season to be one of the most electrifying performers on the community college planet. Coaches at Harbor swear Mike is the best in decades and if the former North Torrance star's reputed 4.3 speed is legit, Pac-10 secondary units may be advised to get their Bolio shots early. Expected to compete at Steve Smith's position, it would appear the likes of Chris McFoy and Whitney Lewis better be ready for a new gunslinger in town. Harbor JC also provided the Trojans with one of their all-time linebackers, James Sims, a key member of the 1972-73 John McKay titans.

The Obvious – Disneyland is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The Not So Obvious – On a recent trip to the Magic Kingdom, you'd think Pete Carroll's team was playing on Main Street. There were more than a large number of patrons wearing USC apparel, and those home No. 11 jerseys were visible in all four lands. By the way, if you have a chance to attend Disneyland's 50th celebration, do stay for the "Remember….Dreams Come True" fireworks celebration at 9:25 p.m. It really is an "E Ticket in the Sky" as advertised. If you think you've seen it all in Disneyland fireworks, the telling of the story of Disneyland with fireworks is like nothing any of us have seen before.

The Obvious – Trojan fans are excited over a recent story in The Patriot-News which describes Pete Carroll's visit to Bishop McDevitt High in Harriburg, Pa., the school which super tailback LeSean McCoy attends.

The Not So Obvious – There is large group of "experts" that believe that McCoy, who rushed for 2828 yards and 31 touchdowns last season, is the best running back in the nation. The city of Harrisburg, located along the Susquehanna River, is not foreign territory in USC recruiting history, having provided the Trojans with exciting quarterback Jimmy Jones (1969-71), a graduate of Harris High.

The Obvious – Pennsylvanian Jimmy Jones is best known for two big touchdown throws in his Trojan career, the most famous being his 1969 32-yard scoring toss to Sam Dickerson to defeat UCLA 14-12 with 1:32 remaining.

The Not So Obvious – The lesser celebrated Jimmy Jones touchdown was in the 1970 Rose Bowl when Jones connected with the late Bobby Chandler on a 33-yard third quarter strike to defeat Michigan 10-3.

The Obvious – As reported by Scout.com, after a visit from Pete Carroll to the Lone Star State and Klein Collins HS, Reggie Bush clone tailback Michael Goodson now has the Trojans in his top three along with Texas A&M and Oklahoma.

The Not So Obvious – Not only does Goodson remind more than a few gurus of Reggie Bush on the field, the kid also has a physical (5-11, 185) and facial resemblance to the Trojans' superstar. The Trojans have tapped Texas for running backs before, the latest being Shawn Walters of Arlington. During the McKay era, the Trojans successfully recruited fleet Texas tailback Paul Rice, who was considered at the time the nation's premier prep running back. Rice didn't stick around Los Angeles long enough to even earn a varsity letter, having found McKay's defenders an intimidating and nose-breaking experience.

The Obvious – The annual Shrine High School All-Star Game featuring the Public School All-Stars against the Private School All-Star is slated for Saturday night, June 25, at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut.

The Not So Obvious – The lone future Trojan player currently scheduled to play in the Shrine Game is safety Will Harris (6-2, 200) of Charter Oak High. Harris will play for the Public School All-Stars. Kickoff is 7:00 p.m., and the game is not currently scheduled to be televised.

The Obvious – The Brea Lions Club will honor players for the Orange County All-Star Game with their annual recognition dinner at the Brea Community Center on May 26.

The Not So Obvious – The scheduled guest speaker is be our own Garry Paskwietz. Incoming Trojan freshman kicker Troy Van Blarcom of Orange Lutheran will play in the July 8th game at Orange Coast College. Kickoff is slated for 7:10 p.m.

The Obvious – The mailman is continuing to deliver to Trojans fans the Sports Illustrated Special Collector's National Championship Edition, recapping the Trojans' 2004 national championship season.

The Not So Obvious – The colorful, late arriving 80-page hardcover book is a nice keepsake for Trojan fans. We especially liked the final page in which former USC receiving great Lynn Swann, who played on the fabled 1972 national champions, writes a one-page essay reflecting on this year's championship and his own Trojan career. In the final paragraph, Swann writes " At my home in Pennsylvania, I still have my USC helmet and home and away number 22 jerseys. I also have my Trojans varsity jackets. In fact, before I headed off to the Orange Bowl, I even tried it on for size."

The Obvious – Former Trojan defensive lineman Ryan Nielsen has been promoted from graduate assistant to full time coach at Mississippi.

The Not So Obvious – If you are a former player or coach at USC, you seem to stand an outstanding shot of getting hired by former Trojan defensive line coach Ed Orgeron, the new head man for the Rebels. Nielsen received one of the fastest promotions in memory as he just arrived for spring ball, received high marks from Coach O, and then was quickly promoted to full time status following a coaching departure. Ryan was the Trojans 1999 Defensive Linemen of the Year.

The Obvious – The highly successful Trojan Flashback Camp for adults is set for June 16-18 and an impressive gathering of Trojan past quarterbacks will be in attendance to support the campers.

The Not So Obvious – Besides quarterbacks Rodney Pete, Paul McDonald, Rob Preston, Rob Hertel, and Scott Tinsley, the former Oklahoma prep star, old No. 6, Mike Rae, will also be there and this guy should garner more recognition that he receives. The former Lakewood High star was the starting quarterback on the fabled 1972 national champions. Although never an All-American or even an All-Conference player, Rae's workmanlike performances directed the undefeated Trojans (12-0) flawlessly, highlighted by a super performance in the 1973 Rose Bowl, a smashing 42-17 victory over No. 3 Ohio State.

The Obvious – As the season approaches, there figures to be more and more comparisons between the potential of Pete Carroll's 2005 club and the 1972 national champions, considered by many the best college football team of all-time.

The Not So Obvious – How good on defense was the 1972 team? After UCLA had lost to the Trojans 24-7 in the Coliseum, one of UCLA's premier running backs, James McAllister, said, " How could we move the ball? They had eleven NFL players on defense."


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