Kennard Honored: Congratulations to Devon Kennard, who continues to reel in awards from college as he garners praise from his progress as an NFL rookie with the New York Giants. Monday he, along with one male and one female athlete from each university, was honored with the Pac-12 Tom Hansen Conference Medal in recognition of his athletic, academic and leadership successes. A fifth-round draft pick, Kennard stepped up in June OTAs for the Giants, earning praise from head coach Tom Coughlin. With a foot injury sidelining starter Jon Beason for 12 weeks, there’s every reason to expect to hear more from Kennard going forward.
Ranking Round Up: ESPN.com’s Pac-12 blogger extraordinaire Ted Miller checked in on the Pac-12’s showing in preseasons polls yesterday. His analysis included a nifty chart featuring Lindy’s, Athlon, The Sporting News, USA Today and Phil Steele’s picks of Pac-12 teams in the top 25. USC sits at #15, #14, #16, #20, and #12 respectively. Those prognostications fall in line with most expectations for this season, considering the Trojans 2013 finish at 19th in the AP and USA Today, but 25th in the BCS standings. Basically, the pundits see USC’s room to grow following a topsy-turvy year, though they’re also cautious about the Trojan’s ability to wrestle control of the Pac-12 South away from UCLA. All five predictors bet on the Bruins to appear in the conference championship game.
Biggest Flop: In his exploration of the head-shaking world of college football recruiting busts, Bleacher Report’s Jeff Bell settled on Dillon Baxter as USC’s biggest bust during the BCS era. No doubt, Baxter fits the mold of recruiting bust. The five-star running back became a youtube sensation with his electric moves during a USC scrimmage but he got into trouble with the NCAA and disciplinary issues saw him removed from the team before he could make any real contributions. Still, Baxter was one of three five-stars in the 2010 class who accomplished very little at USC despite big expectations. Neither Markieth Ambles nor Kyle Prater came close to living up to expectations.Still, there’s possibly an even bigger recruiting bust to single out if you look far enough back. Whitney Lewis joined Reggie Bush as a five-star recruit in the 2003 class. He was all-everything coming out of high school and earned accolades as the top athlete in California that year. Unfortunately he showed up at USC overweight and transferred after disagreements with coaches about his position on the team.