When tailback Broderick Green announced he was transferring, the first question that popped into most USC followers’ heads was: Who’s next?
Receiver Vidal Hazelton seemed like a logical candidate. Not only has his playing time dropped precipitously after he ranked second on the team in catches last season, but the coaches declined his request to seek a medical redshirt. In addition, Hazelton’s father has asserted that his son has not received the proper treatment for various injuries while at USC.
I talked to Hazelton on Monday night and asked him whether he was happy. His response? “Yes.”
I then asked whether he had any plans to transfer. His response? “No.”
I also asked about the end of the Stanford game. While the rest of his teammates gathered in front of USC’s section to participate in the postgame “Conquest” ritual, Hazelton walked the other way, toward the locker room. He said it wasn’t an act of frustration, and, in his defense, the coaches had to corral a handful of other players who were headed in that direction.
Regarding his reduced role — Hazelton is again part of the receiver rotation but has caught just one pass, against the Cardinal, since the season opener — the junior from New York said: “It’s definitely not what I’m used to. It’s the coaches’ call. I’ve just got to deal with it. … They see I do a good job blocking, so they want me to be a big part of the running game. I’m just out there doing what they ask of me.”
And regarding the influence and advice of his father, who wanted his son to attend an East Coast school, Hazelton said: “I always wanted to come here. As far as right now, he’s just telling me to keep my head up, practice hard and worry about the things you can control.”
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