Catching Up with Kris O'Dowd

The Trojans have one of the top centers in the entire country in Kristofer O'Dowd. The talented offensive lineman has been hard at work this offseason rehabbing his injured shoulder, and is now healthy and ready for fall camp. Look inside for an in-depth Q&A with the junior offensive lineman.

Q: First off, just updated us on your injury status and how the rehab has been going for you?

O'Dowd: I got cleared on Tuesday (7-21-09) officially for full contact for camp so I'm there. It took a long period of time, a six month span, but I feel pretty confident in my strength and my ability right now. I feel like I'm in the best shape I could be for coming in August. Nothing is going to limit me.

Q: You have been out at most of the players-only workouts, how do you think the team has looked to this point?

O'Dowd: The team's looking great. These Tuesday's and Friday's are really good because it brings everyone together and it shows how hard the groups are working, and it spreads out the individuals who are leading in each position. As far as the workouts, we are out here at 6 a.m. and getting better every day. It's been a good process from here and I can't wait for next week.

Q: Aaron Corp has big shoes to fill replacing Mark Sanchez, how has the team reacted to him as the leader of the offense?

O'Dowd: They've reacted well. Every quarterback has different traits and different styles. We're adapting to his ways and we're excited about him leading us and I can't wait to see what he does in camp.

Q: You're coming into this season with a lot of preseason hype. What are your personal and team goals for 2009?

O'Dowd: My personal goals are to get myself better. Help this offensive line be one of the best in the PAC-10, in the country and just play well, have good foot work, stay low and I think everything will follow after that. As far as the team, just to come together a lot stronger. It takes eleven of us and once we get everyone moving in sync, we'll be a real tough team to stop.

Q: You have a lot of returning starters and good depth on the offensive line. How good do you think this unit can be in 2009?

O'Dowd: A lot of competition. Everyone's fighting for their spot. Everyone knows their stuff. Nobody's down on a learning curve except for the new freshmen but other than that, we're expecting a lot of them ourselves. I have a feeling there's not going to be a lot of falling short in this group.

Q: What's it like playing alongside a guy like Jeff Byers, and what have you learned from him and all his experience?

O'Dowd: I don't really think about it because I have faith in him. I know he knows what he's doing, I try to help out the other guys. I make the calls out there but it's good to have him out there in case something happens that maybe I haven't seen before.

Q: Who is the toughest defensive lineman on the team for you to block?

O'Dowd: Jurrell Casey. He's coming into his own. He's a good football player right now. He needs to learn a little bit more and once he does, I think he'll be a really good football player for this program. I'm excited to get better with him every day.

Q: Have any of the newcomers caught your eye during the offseason workouts?

O'Dowd: It's hard to say physically. Right now we can just judge on their hard work and their mentality towards things. Once the pads come on, that's when you really show yourself. That first week really tests out the young guys and we'll see who can hang.

Q: How do you think the offense will differ this season with Bates and Morton taking over for Sarkisian?

O'Dowd: We've always been a pretty diverse offense. Hopefully we'll go 50/50 with things but I'm not worried about it. We installed everything in Spring so everybody's up to date with what's new and what's going on. Nothing new is going to hit the fan for us so it's pretty much repetitions and getting the cobwebs off from Spring and just going out there and getting better for September 5th.

Junior center Kris O'Dowd anchors the Trojans talented offensive line. Top Stories