I caught this yesterday...
O'Dowd is a great player and person. He has represented USC well in his time here.
When O'Dowd landed at Troy, he took 21 hours of classes in each of his first three semesters. Doogie Howser didn't do that.
"I didn't know I was going to start as a freshman," he said sheepishly.
As a result, he's three hours away from his American studies diploma.
He'll finish a research paper for the class the week after USC plays UCLA in the season finale, and then begin training for the NFL draft.
O'Dowd has been one of the more quiet guys on the team. Quiet meaning that he doesn't shoot his mouth off or do something stupid. He leads by example and focuses on the task at hand.
Now, I wouldn't be surprised if he lays the wood to some of the underclassmen when they aren't pulling their share of the load but that is always done behind the scenes.
Even in the face of injury O'Dowd has never been deterred.
O'Dowd even takes USC's sanctions in stride...
NCAA sanctions keeping the Trojans out of the next two bowl games might be "a blessing in disguise," the center said, because he'll have an extra month to train for the draft.
Those same sanctions made the 6-foot-5-inch, 300-pounder one of the country's most valuable free agents in June, when the NCAA ruled Trojan upperclassmen could transfer without penalty after the Reggie Bush scandal.
He even knows the value of the USC degree.
"I had a lot of offers to go a lot of places," he said. "That would be stupid of me to consider something like that.
"Why would I turn down a degree from USC? Why would I leave a program because a fluke happened? We lost one game. We have 13 more."
This is what makes O'Dowd such an important part of this team...especially during this time.
FIGHT ON! Kris!