Brown's Back in the Game

When the USC Trojans open spring practice on March 28th there will be a handful of fresh faces looking to take the place of one of the most talented linebacker units to ever patrol the Coliseum field. Among the group of promising youngsters will be the familiar, but always intimidating scowl of Luthur Brown.

When the USC Trojans open spring practice on March 28th there will be a handful of fresh faces looking to take the place of one of the most talented linebacker units to ever patrol the Coliseum field. Among the group of promising youngsters will be the familiar, but always intimidating scowl of Luthur Brown.

Brown, who has been frustrated by various back, shoulder and hamstring injuries in his career at USC, is suddenly the elder statesman of the group and hoping to have a productive and healthy final campaign.

"Right now, I am just doing rehab stuff and feeling great," Brown said. "I plan to go full throttle for spring practice."

"I'm not holding anything back. When we get into pads, I am going to do every hitting drill."

Dishing out big hits has never been a problem for the hard-nosed defender, but getting his body to hold up to the rigors of a college football season have been an entirely different story.

The 6-foot-2, 235-pound linebacker underwent back surgery his freshman season, and has missed time every year since because of constant back issues, as well as shoulder and hamstring injuries.

This off-season, Brown has worked tirelessly with the USC training staff and says he will be 100% when he returns to the practice field for spring ball.

"It's a relief because I have been dealing with injuries my whole career here," Brown said. "I am just going to keep my fingers crossed and expect the best."

A healthy Luthur Brown would be a major boost to a linebacker corps that will have to replace four NFL-caliber players.

"You really didn't get a chance to look at anybody last year because it was mainly Cush, Kaluka and Rey," Brown said. "I think everybody is going to be shocked at the linebacker position as a whole.

"I'm not going to say that we are trying to make a statement, but we are going to go out and play football and be who we are."

With the versatility to play all three linebacker positions, much like Thomas Williams in years past, Brown will be an important member of the Trojans' defense in 2009.

"SAM is probably the most difficult position for me at the moment, but if they need me there it wouldn't be a problem," Brown said. "I have the MIKE and WILL positions down pat. Personally, at this point, wherever they want to put me."

With the departure of Rey Maualuga, Kaluka Maiava, Clay Matthews and Brian Cushing many assume that there has to be a drop off at linebacker, but Brown isn't having any of that talk.

"I don't expect there to be a drop off," he said. "I know we are practicing against our own team but I have talked with all the linebackers and we are coming out full throttle. If you have the ball in your hand, we are going to be laying you down.

"Like Coach Carroll said, it's all about competition."


Luthur Brown is healthy and excited for spring practice.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can reach Kevin Carden at kevin@scplaybook.com


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