Corp is USC QB
Los Angeles, CA - On the same day sophomore Aaron Corp steps in as Southern California's No. 1 quarterback, the Trojans face several reminders of the talented players they must replace.
Corp emerged as the successor to Mark Sanchez at the end of spring practice. He'll get a chance to show off his skills Saturday in the team's scrimmage before thousands of fans at the Coliseum.
While Corp is on the field, Sanchez and linebackers Rey Maualuga, Brian Cushing and Clay Matthews are expected to give USC four first-round picks in the NFL draft. That trio is featured on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated. Another linebacker, Kaluka Maiava, is likely to go in the later rounds.
``This might be one of the biggest draft parties ever,'' coach Pete Carroll said Friday. ``We might have moments of appreciation in there when guys get picked.''
Then it'll be back to business.
n the depth chart, followed by Garrett Green and redshirt freshman John Manoogian.
Carroll ticked off Corp's advantages, including knowing USC's system well and his ability to communicate from the sideline to the huddle.
``He's a very good athlete and is the best runner we've had at the spot since we've been here,'' the coach said. ``He has shown it at numerous occasions and picks and chooses his times really well. He's thrown the ball very well. He came in with a little bit of an edge and held that.''
Carroll's biggest surprise was seeing Barkley pick up the offense so quickly for someone who graduated from high school a semester early and enrolled at USC this spring.
``I expect he'll play really well in the spring game and have another big day and show more so why this competition is so close right now,'' Carroll said. ``Mitch Mustain has had a good solid spring but the other guys have kind of stayed ahead of him.''
The most drastic changes will be at linebacker, where USC will feature an all-new look. Sophomore Chris Galippo is the leading replacement in the middle. He was Maualuga's backup last season, but saw little action while Maualuga piled up a team-leading 79 tackles.
Junior Malcolm Smith, the brother of NFL wide receiver Steve Smith, was Maiava's backup on the weak side. Junior Michael Morgan, who started one game against Oregon last season, backed up Cushing on the strong side.
``We've had nothing but good stuff from those guys,'' Carroll said. ``It's a very thin group with just a couple kids backing up. It's going to wind up being a very spotlighted position in camp when the freshmen come in.''
USC's defense led the nation in scoring defense last season, giving up 9.0 points a game for its best mark since 1967. The Trojans finished 12-1 and defeated Penn State in the Rose Bowl.
``Cush and those guys will hate me for saying this, and guys like Clay and Cush and Kaluka would never admit to this, but we are faster than we were,'' Carroll said.
``Michael and Malcolm can really run. They add a lot. They've learned well and been trained well under the old guys.''
Carroll is working with new faces on the sidelines, too.
Jeremy Bates is the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, while Rocky Seto takes over as defensive coordinator overseeing the secondary, and Brian Schneider is in charge of special teams.
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Posted: 4/24/09 11:20PM ET