USC Senior Weekend Story Lines…


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by Chris Carlson – AP

With tomorrow’s final regular season game at home against Arizona there a re number of story lines that we need to keep an eye on…

Who Staying and Who is going?

Stanley Havili is going to stay

Several USC juniors will consider making themselves available for the NFL draft after the Trojans play a bowl game later this month.

Fullback Stanley Havili said Wednesday he would not be among them.

“I need to come back,” he said.

Havili, who suffered a midseason shoulder injury that sidelined him for two games and slowed him for two more, surprisingly was projected by the Sporting News last month as a possible late first-round pick in the April draft.

Havili was unmoved.

“I have a lot of developing to do,” he said. “I need to show parts of my game that I haven’t been able to show yet.”

Obviously Havili is the best fullback we have. But he has some injury issues in his career so he needs to get as much experience as he can before making the jump. He has all the tools, blocking, receiving and big capability but  there have been a few time that he has had trouble holding onto the ball at critical moments.

Havili’s returning for another year gives Matt Barkley a little more stability as he settles into his second year as the starter.

The bigger question on offense will be Damian Williams

USC’s regular-season finale against Arizona on Saturday will be the last Coliseum appearance for Trojans seniors.

It might also be receiver Damian Williams final home game.

“I’ve kind been like, ‘Wow. It could be,’ ” the fourth-year junior said Monday. “But right now, I’m just focusing on getting through the season. After the bowl game, we’ll sit down and make some decisions.”

Last January, Williams had considered making himself available for the NFL draft, especially after quarterback Mark Sanchez decided to turn professional.

But Williams returned and has been the Trojans’ most dynamic player. He has caught 50 passes, six for touchdowns, and also has returned two punts for touchdowns.

Williams, though, has suffered several injuries, including a hamstring strain that slowed him against Oregon and a high-ankle sprain that sidelined him against Stanford.

So Williams, who will graduate this month, again will consider entering the draft.

DWill is in the same boat as Mark Sanchez was last year. He is set to graduate so he technically can move on. The question is is he ready?

There is no question he can make plays…he is/was the favorite target of both Barkley and Sanchez and he has been the #1 receiver on this team the past couple of seasons. When he wasn’t in the dynamic of this offense changed considerably. This is a hard one to call, though I think he is gone. Being slowed by injury and having a true freshman QB running the offense may have decreased Williams’ production this season but there is no question he can play. I think his draft evaluation will be the determining factor.

What about Everson Griffen?

USC junior defensive end Everson Griffen says he’s not thinking about the 2010 NFL Draft.

At least not yet.

Griffen, who has been projected by various draft sites as possible first or second round pick should he forgo his senior season, said he will evaluate his options after the season.

“I really don’t know yet,” said Griffen, currently third in the Pac-10 in sacks (8). “We still have two more games left. Let’s focus on the last two games and I really haven’t thought about it yet. I’ll talk it over with my family but right now I’m just focused on these last two games and see where I’m at and then go from there.”

Griffen has been the most puzzling player on this team.

He is a tremendous talent but his head and drive have always been questioned. Jethro Franklin has done a great job at getting his head screwed on straight but not without some lapses (see the Notre Dame game). SC has some decent depth at DE but it is hard to let such a tremendous talent, albeit still a little raw, leave before it is fully developed.

Joe McKnight commented this last week

USC junior tailback Joe McKnight is leaning toward returning for his senior season.

McKnight, who is closing in on 1,000 yards, hasn’t completely made up his mind but said if he had to make the decision “today or tomorrow” he would come back to school.

I haven’t heard an update on this, so I will assume that he is staying…

Anyway more later…

– – –

Here are some links…

Coach Carroll on Garrett Green – TrojanWire

Joe McKnight gets another opportunity to shine against Arizona —

USC defense shows Jekyll-and-Hyde personality – LA Daily News

USC’s potential newcomers could make sudden impact – LA Daily News

USC defense faces challenge in Foles – The Orange County Register

Preview: Arizona at USC ” The Trojan Empire

Week 14 Game Matchup: Arizona Wildcats VS. USC Trojans | All Pac 10

Kyle Bunch

Partnerships for R/GA Ventures. Raised in California, adopted by Texas. Opinions expressed here are mine and they are fantastic.

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