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Victor Blackwell No Longer on USC Football Roster

M.I.A. receiver isn't a Trojan football player any more.

Victor Blackwell joins Max Wittek as former USC Trojans.
Victor Blackwell joins Max Wittek as former USC Trojans.
Shotgun Spratling/Conquest Chronicles

Redshirt junior wide receiver Victor Blackwell is no longer a member of the USC football team, head coach Steve Sarkisian announced after Thursday's practice.

Sarkisian said Blackwell was eliminated from the roster on Monday after the Mater Dei HS product hasn't been seen or heard from since the team returned from the Boston College game.

"We haven't seen him for a month, so we just moved forward there," Sarkisian said.

Blackwell was unhappy with his playing time after being surpassed in the wide receiver ranks by freshmen JuJu Smith, Adoree' Jackson and Ajene Harris, who all were seeing more impactful playing time.

Following the Boston College loss, Blackwell decided to skip practice and did not return. Sarkisian talked with Blackwell's parents for 20 minutes a week after his disappearance from the team, but Victor Blackwell never returned.

Blackwell finishes his USC career with eight catches for 112 yards, including three grabs for 54 yards in this year's season opener against Fresno State.

On Thursday, Sarkisian talked about his attrition expectations when taking over the USC program in December.

"For a variety of reasons, things occur. We can't be naive to the fact that they aren't going to occur," Sarkisian said. "We want as many able bodies and motivating guys to do it the right way everyday because we'll be better for it. But the reality of it is, it does occur."

Steve Sarkisian also added an anecdote from his first two years coaching at Washington:

"At one point, when I was at the University of Washington, 24 months on the job, I had 27 guys that weren't with us any more that potentially could still have been on the roster. For a variety of reasons, things occur. It could be injury. It could be personal issues. It could be academic issues. It could be personality fits."

Victor Blackwell becomes the third veteran player to leave the USC football program this season, joining running back Anthony Brown, who infamously called Steve Sarkisian a racist, and cornerback D.J. Morgan, who retired from USC football to try to focus on his health and the upcoming track season. Quarterback Max Wittek also left the program during the offseason and transferred to Hawai'i.

What is a new coach to do about kids wanting to leave?

"Really, you just have to live with it," Sarkisian said. "You have to keep looking forward and focus on the guys that you have that are giving you all that you have every single day that they come to practice."