Newcomers to USC's football program are no strangers to media scrutiny and high expectations, but even still, Mitch Mustain is not the ordinary newcomer.
After a record breaking performance as a true freshman at the University of
Arkansas, Mustain transferred to USC. Having played so close to home, Mustain is
settling in nicely on the left coast with his new teammates. He will use his
redshirt year while sitting out a mandatory season because of the trasnfer.
Does knowing that he is forced to sit out this year take some of the pressure
off as compared to his true freshman season at Arkansas where he started eight
"It does a little bit," said Mustain after practice on Tuesday,
"but then it's only until the fall is over, then I've got to be ready to
Having played at a high level of college football already, Mustain has higher
expectations of himself than the typical college freshman.
"I think it's been frustrating, maybe a little bit more so than for
the new guys, because I've been there before. Now I'm having to learn a whole
new deal, and I'm kind of expecting it to come a little quicker. So it's been
hard the last two or three days, but hopefully it'll click pretty soon."
"I like it here, it's everything I was expecting. I'm having to learn a lot
real fast and wipe out everything I've learned in the past. I'm kind of to the
point where I'm having to work through it. But it's good, and I'm ready to
eventually get it down and know what I'm doing."
A U.S. Army All-American, Mustain's transition has been made easier having
played with several USC Trojans before.
"There are guys here that I've played and known a little bit before.
We fit together real well, We've worked hard through the summer; we're ready to
go, I just have to get familiar with the receivers and what all we're
There is a wealth of talent on the field for Mustain to throw the ball to, but
he's no stranger to top receivers as Marcus Monk, while less known than some
others across the country, is every bit as talented. At 6-6 and 230 pounds, Monk
and the Trojans' Patrick Turner (6-5/230) have a lot in common.
"They're similar," said Mustain when asked to compare Turner to Monk.
"Monk is bigger; he's got long arms, and he's able to reach around and grab
a lot of stuff. 'PT' has some versatility to him. Monk has his big games, and
he's proved time and again he can catch the balls. They're a little bit
different styles. Monk is probably able to grab some out of the air that others
The Trojans have an embarrassment of talent at the quarterback position
including three former Scout.com No. 1 players (John David Booty '03, Mark Sanchez
'05, Mustain '06) and a fourth 5-Star (Aaron Corp '07). With all of this talent
in the offensive backfield, where does Mustain see the short term future of the
team, and his long term future with the team?
"For the team, I think the next six months it'd be a little disappointing
if we didn't win a championship. We've got to keep working for that. For myself,
I'm going to take it as it comes. I've got a lot to learn in the next six months
before we get going next spring. I really can't project where I'll be. I'd hope
to eventually get the [starting] job and go on from there."
"But if not I just gotta keep fighting for it and see what happens."
Mitch Mustain - At Home in LA
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