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"Cornering" the Market

We all know that Shareece Wright will start on one side at cornerback this season. That was a given as Wright is a senior and the most experienced CB on the team.

But who will get the nod to play on the opposite side?

Senior Shareece Wright is set on one side, but redshirt freshman Torin Harris, third-year sophomore Brian Baucham and freshman Nickell Robey are in a close race for the other spot.

All three intercepted passes during Friday night's practice, which was dominated by the defense. Robey also forced a fumble.

"They're all doing a good job," Wright said. "But we need somebody to really step up."

The position is of particular concern because Kiffin, fearing injuries that could deplete the roster, has decreed that the Trojans would limit tackling to today and to next week's scrimmage. They will not tackle in their final scrimmage before the Sept. 2 opener at Hawaii.

That was from yesterday...before yesterday's scrimmage.

Is the picture becoming a little more clear?

Harris and Baucham will not go down without a fight but Robey had another great showing yesterday...

Cornerback Nickell Robey continued to draw praise from Kiffin.

He had three tackles, a sack and deflected a pass while also returning a punt 46 yards.

"He's the defensive version of Dillon in terms of doing so many things for us," Kiffin said.

I love this kids grittyness...

This could be a very special player once he gets some actual games under his belt.

Wright thinks Robey is special as well...

The thing is, even at 5-foot-8, Robey is supremely athletic. Reports of his vertical leap range from 40 to 42 inches; his 40-yard dash time has been reported to be the in 4.4s.

"He's a great athlete," says Wright, his roommate for fall camp. "He studies his playbook every night; he's always asking me questions. He's ready to play."


"I took him in since he got here and Coach Kiffin talked to me about him," Wright said. "That would inspire anybody, to have that happen in your life. I took that as part of my role, to bring him in."

I realize its still very early in the process and that Robey still has some competition in front of him but Robey is turning some heads. He is making plays and is showing some versatility as well.

As with all the players in the 2010 recruiting class, Robey would not be deterred by the NCAA's sanctions against USC. This is where he wanted to be and he is going to make the most of it. Robey is also a special person who has overcome personal tragedy in his short life. Robey's mother passed away earlier this year yet Robey still ventured out of Florida to play for USC.

He did not play it safe...

I love all of our guys, freshman and veterans, no matter what, through thick and thin, but I hope Robey becomes the face of the program that is the example of perseverance!