Everson Emerges

It was evident to everyone that something was different with Everson Griffen this spring and he showed the promise we all felt we'd see from him when he first came to USC.

Everson was asked what was behind the change in his demeanor and his impressive play?

"I just know coming off last year and not getting the playing time that I wanted, because if you don't work hard, that time can be taken from you, so I just came out with a positive attitude, I'm working hard and playing hard on every play," said Griffen. "Coach (Jethro) Franklin came in and with a philosophy to work hard on every play no matter what, and that's what I've been doing. I've been working hard for him, not talking back and it's really working out for me."

Griffen added more comments on his thoughts about Coach Franklin.

"Coach Franklin coming in has been like a dream come true," said Griffen. "He's teaching us hand work, he's teaching us footwork, he's teaching us learning the game over all. He's teaching us how to be on and off the football field. With him being out here and coaching for over 20 years,and being with the packers and other NFL teams, he's teaching us like it is in the pros. We just need to learn discipline and that discipline is going to take us a long way."

The Trojans lost four extremely talented linebackers to the NFL draft last month. An the defensive line and defensive backs, are now the most seasoned veteran group of players, despite some outstanding linebackers replacing Maualuga, Cushing, Matthews and Maiava. And the defensive line will be expected, considering their experience, to be a huge part of USC's success on defensive.

"Yeah, we had Rey (Maualuga), Cush (Brian Cushing), Clay (Matthews) and Kaluka (Maiava) last year, and they were big, thick guys, but we have guys coming in who are quick, hit the gaps hard and they are very smart. If they hit the gaps hard, it's going to be the same has having big and thick linebackers. They hit the gaps quick and are quick to the ball, so we aren't losing anything.

"The D-line, as a whole, we are looking good," said Griffen. "With Jethro on top and leading us, and leading the way, there will be no stopping us."

Griffen has always appeared to enjoy his time at USC, but it appears his enjoyment is at a much higher level.

"I tried taking on a leadership role, because I am one of the veterans," Griffen said. "I am trying to lead by example and go hard every play. If I go hard every play, those guys following behind will do the same."

Although Griffen's family doesn't live far from southern California and Griffen is extremely close with his mother, Samantha Scott, he has what you could consider an adopted family of his closest friend on the team, living in the Inland Empire.

"Jordan (Campbell) and I have known each other since our senior year in high school and we have been best friends from day one," Griffen said. "His family is like my family. I've spent time at his house and he's spent time at my house. His family took me in as one of their sons, so I really love that family and I just want to say thank you to them. Jordan and I will be best friends for life."

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