USC's Barkley named Captain, Prater to likely redshirt, the O-Line coming together

Matt Barkley being named one of the teams co-captains this season really isn't a shock.

Being the teams most recognizable leader and the face of the program makes this decision an easy one...

Every quarterback who started under Pete Carroll served as a USC team captain.

None of them was a sophomore.

That unique distinction belongs to Matt Barkley, one of five Trojans named captains Monday.

Barkley is believed to be the first sophomore captain in USC history. Last season he became the first true freshman to start an opener for the Trojans at quarterback.

Lane Kiffin talked about Barkley's work ethic both on and off the field with his getting in better shape and the time he has spent working on his game on the field and in the film room. Barkley is a gamer so to me this is not surprising.

Hear are Barkley's thoughts on being picked...

"The fact that my teammates picked me means the world to me," Barkley said late Monday after finishing a four-hour evening class.

"I’ve come a long way since last year. To represent them in the coin toss, on the field and in the locker room, it’s really a big deal to me."

Humble to the core...

Other team captains include... fullback Stanley Havili, cornerback Shareece Wright and linebackers Michael Morgan and Malcolm Smith.

I have always seen these as symbolic moves but leadership this year is going to be key with the team facing the obstacles before them. Barkley will be a huge key in providing leadership when things get tough.

And they will get tough...

One of the teams future leaders is probably going to redshirt.

Lane Kiffin discussed yesterday that there is a good chance that freshman receiver Kyler Prater will redshirt.

Coach Lane Kiffin announced the probability Monday after practice, saying he had spoken with Prater’s parents about the 14th-ranked Trojans’ plans for the touted freshman.

Prater was among the nation’s top recruits when he committed to the Trojans last year out of his native Illinois. He enrolled early at USC this year, but his play in training camp has been limited by various lower-body injuries.

Prater isn’t ready to play in USC’s season opener at Hawaii on Thursday night.

This is not a bad move.

We are deep are wide receiver so Prater was going to see limited action to begin with.

With Freshman Robert Woods light up the field and Prater being hobbled with injuries this move makes some sense. Prater will have a great career at USC but he needs to heal and get back into playing shape.

There is no doubt Prater will be disappointed but this is probably for the best.

- - -

Is the offensive line finally coming together?

Because of our depth issues and injury the coaching staff decided to limit full contact during most of training camp except for one scrimmage.

It looks like now that the projected starting O-line are finally healthy enough to play together for the first time in a while.

USC has only 12 scholarship offensive linemen on the roster. About half have little or no game experience.

Ideally, USC's staff wants senior center Kristofer O'Dowd to be flanked on the right by sophomore guard Khaled Holmes and junior tackle Tyron Smith. Senior guard Butch Lewis and sophomore tackle Matt Kalil would start on the left side.

But injuries prevented that group from working together for more than brief periods until Monday.

"It's just good to get that feeling that everybody's healthy," said the 6-foot-5, 280-pound Smith, a starter last season.

O'Dowd had off-season shoulder surgery but appears to be regaining the form that made him a first-team All-Pacific 10 Conference selection two years ago.

Obviously the O-Line is the key to our success.

You can't move the ball without some decent protection.

Experience is always at a premium so some of our guys are going to get that experience under fire. If games are well in hand then the junior guys will get some much needed experience. Injuries will play a role here as well...if someone goes down one of the young guys will need to step in.

This should not be a surprise to anyone...I am not breaking any ground here, injuries are a fact of life with this team.

- - -

Oh, no he didn't...

Mack Brown has some thoughts on Reggie Bush's Heisman.

Brown talked about Vince Young not winning the Heisman over Reggie Bush in 2005. He said that Bush did have a great year and a great game leading up to the championship game. He thinks that Young would have won it if the vote was later. And he thinks that if Bush gives back his Heisman or they take it away from him, Young should get it. "If they take it away, I think Vince should be awarded the trophy," Brown said.

I could care less but Mack Brown needs to get out of the past. Vince Young probably couldn't care less at this point either so why is Brown?

Time for him to move on...

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