Brian Baucham: Settling in at USC

Brian Baucham was one of the last members of the Trojans 2008 recruiting class to receive a scholarship offer. The 5-11, 190-pound cornerback from nearby West Torrance High School took a last minute visit to USC and found the Trojans' offer too good to pass up. Now on campus for the last few weeks, Baucham has settled into college life at USC and says it's everything Pete Carroll said it would be.

While the offseason workouts with Coach Carlisle have been more than challenging for the rookie, Brian Baucham has had a smooth transition to college life thanks to the help of his veteran teammates.

"It's a lot different than high school," Baucham said when asked about the strength and conditioning program. "When I first got out here I was dying and about to throw up but now I am getting the hang of it. The toughest thing has been the team run. That is difficult right there.

"Kevin Thomas helps me out a lot. When I get a play confused, he clears everything up for me.

"Everybody has been really helpful and the safeties and corners help you get around and get you in the game. It's great. "

Once in the game, Baucham has the tough task of covering the number of talented wide receivers on the USC roster.

"They are a little bigger, with a little more strength and faster," the wide-eyed Baucham said, when comparing them to the players he competed against last year in high school. "Track has helped me get faster so I have been hanging with them speed-wise. I just need to get a little stronger."

Two of the USC receivers that have been particularly hard to cover for the incoming freshman have been Travon Patterson and Damian Williams.

"Travon Patterson is real quick so you have to get your feet ready to stop him and Damian Williams is fast and strong, but that's competition. If you can stop them after a while then you know you are doing good." said Baucham.

"I'm getting the hang of it again, competing with everybody, and seeing what I got."

With Fall Camp less than three weeks away, Baucham can't wait to put on the pads for the first time as a Trojan and test himself against the best players in the nation.

"I want to come in and compete. I want to get out there with the best and see what I can do and see if I can hang with them," Baucham said. "I just want to prove to everybody that I can hang with the best and play with the best."

"Personally, I am trying to earn a starting spot or at least get some playing time so I can get my feet wet so next year can be even better.

"Team-wise I just want to be part of the team and help out the best I can by helping the receivers get better in practice and stuff."

The young defensive back has only been on campus a few weeks but says his experience has been just as positive and rewarding as Pete Carroll said it would be when he was being recruited to come to USC.

"They told me that we were going to be working hard, and everything that they said has come true," Baucham said with a wide grin. "I can feel myself getting better already."

Brian Baucham returns an interception during 7-on-7 drills.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can reach Kevin Carden at Top Stories