Ausberry Fields Forever

Remember when SC began its 2006 fall camp and the buzz at Howard Jones Field was how great Vidal Hazelton and Travon Patterson looked? There was very little mention of David Ausberry in August and September last year, but a lot has changed since then.

About a week before the 2006 season began, Ausberry joined the scout team. Some view joining the scout team almost like a demotion, but Ausberry considered it an opportunity to compete against USC‘s best players.

"I think I benefited the most, because I got to go up against Terrell Thomas and Cary Harris all season," Ausberry said about practicing with the scout team. "Every time I messed up, they were on me and telling me what to do--like what I needed to do to get myself better.

"Everything really worked out and I was going up against the first-team defense all year, and I think I benefited a lot from that."

Brennan Carroll told us last month that Ausberry will be competing for significant playing time this season. We asked what the coaches were telling Ausberry after his outstanding performances with the scout team last season.

"After last season, they were just telling me I could do great things here and I'm just doing my best to be achieve that," Ausberry said.

In the first two days of practices, Ausberry had noticeably increased his burst and breaks off the line of scrimmage since last fall. That was an area of focus for Coach John Morton during the winter workouts.

Morton spent considerable time teaching the proper technique in breaking off the line of scrimmage during his first day at USC. It was a rainy day, Howard Jones Field was sloppy and the players were frustrated with losing their footing. Coach Morton said, "This is what the field is going to be like at Notre Dame in October. Better get used to it."

After numerous reps and by the end of the drill, the players were rarely slipping. Each rep had two players facing off and Ausberry was beating Travon Patterson and Jamere Holland off the line. Yes, it was only a drill on a wet surface, but seeing Ausberry beat those two was eye-opening. Imagine a cornerback facing a wide receiver with Ausberry's size and his burst off the line of scrimmage. Good luck.

Ausberry seemed pleased that day, considering that was an area for which he had room for improvement. And Coach Morton was quick to praise Ausberry for his effort.

Lane Kiffin was the wide receivers coach at SC the past four seasons and was probably one of the finest in the country. His loss was a big one for the Trojans, but Pete Carroll recruited John Morton of the New Orleans Saints as if he were Everson Griffen. We asked Ausberry what Coach Morton‘s coaching style was like.

"Coach (John) Morton is bringing a new NFL style of coaching out here," Ausberry said. "They're just adding to the table. All of these coaches have experience at the next level and we're all working to get better. He's helping us out by teaching us things we need to know to get to the next level, and to beat everyone in college football."

We'll talk more with Ausberry throughout spring practices.


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