Mar 11, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans receiver Christian Tober (28) is defended by cornerback Ryan Henderson (14) at spring practice at Howard Jones Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

USC Morning Briefing: Walk-Ons Earn Meals, Wesley Transfers and Other Bullets

Three & Out:

  1. Bye, Bye Byron: The news was equally shocking as it was ultimately unsurprising, given the state of Trojan basketball. Byron Wesley, USC’s leading scorer and rebounder, announced his intentions to transfer on Twitter Wednesday afternoon, ready to begin his senior season with a fresh start. The departure leaves Andy Enfield in a bit of a pickle. He was already resigned to lose seniors Pe’Shon Howard, J.T. Terrell and Omar Oraby after this season, as well as freshman Roschon Prince who decided to transfer in March, but losing Wesley means losing the Trojans’ four leading scorers in 2013-14. Who will step up in Wesley’s place? Nikola Jovanovic and Julian Jacobs are all that remain of USC’s seven top scorers, but neither averaged double figures. Still, reinforcements are on their way in the form of incoming freshman Jordan McLaughlin, who will certainly be called on to pick up the slack, and sophomore UNLV transfer Katin Reinhardt, who will likely serve as Wesley’s direct replacement.
  2. King Kessler: In a move that surprised no one, Steve Sarkisian named Cody Kessler as his starting quarterback Tuesday after practice. In hindsight, Kessler always seemed the likely choice. After all, what were the chances that Max Browne, a redshirt freshman who has yet to take a snap in a college game, would beat out someone who not only started a full season, but got better and better as the year progressed.
    Ultimately, evaluating the decision comes down to the timing of it. Sarkisian may have a history of selecting his starting QBs in the spring, but he was no doubt made very aware of the folly of dragging out a quarterback competition longer than necessary. Sarkisian’s decisiveness is a good sign. An even better sign is Kessler’s own insistence that the competition is far from over.
  3. Winning One For the Walk-Ons: Something got lost in the conversation about the NCAA’s decision to loosen restrictions governing meals for athletes and what that means in the larger debate surrounding payment and unionization in college athletics. The little guys earned a big victory. Earlier this month we looked at the plight of walk-ons, whose contributions to their teams were not allowed to be reward with all the benefits of being a student-athlete. Wednesday’s decision changes at least one aspect of that, allowing walk-ons to partake of training table meals free of charge.

They said it:

“We wish Byron well and we thank him for his valuable contributions to our program.  We are happy for him that he will leave USC with his degree.  He had a very productive career here and I am sure he will do well wherever his career takes him.”

- Andy Enfield, on Byron Wesley’s decision to transfer.

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Tags: Byron Wesley Cody Kessler Football USC Basketball USC Trojans

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