USC Morning Briefing: James Picks UCLA, Shiny Helmets Spark Debate and Other News


Happy Friday. More importantly, happy college football countdown milestone day. In just 50 days, Cody Kessler, Leonard Williams and company will kick off the Steve Sarkisian era at USC by hosting the Fresno State Bulldogs at the Coliseum. It’s so close that you can almost taste it. And yes, 50 days sounds a lot sweeter than seven weeks and a day. Now, on with the Morning Briefing!

Three & Out:

1. Andre James is committed to the Bruins: In what was one of the final commitment announcements at The Opening, 6-foot-5, 275-pound offensive tackle Andre James out of Herriman, Utah committed to UCLA over the likes of USC, Oregon, Oklahoma and Ohio State. The Trojans had been in the mix since offering him a scholarship this spring, and even after the commitment of offensive lineman Clayton Johnston last week. Ultimately James picked the Bruins, as he told ESPNU on air, because it was the coaching staff he had the best relationship with. It’s a big get Jim Mora, as he’s just the second lineman in UCLA’s 2015 class to date, joining four-star offensive lineman Tevita Halalilo, out of Moreno Valley. For the Trojans, while getting another commitment would’ve been another feather in Steve Sarkisian’s cap, losing out on James stings less due to the commitment of Johnston last week. Sarkisian signed five offensive linemen in the 2014 class, andcurrently have three committed to 2015, including Rivals’ No. 1 offensive tackle, Chuma Edoga. As it stands, the Trojans have more pressing needs with the remaining 15 scholarships, and there’s still seven months worth of time to decide on how to go about securing a commitment from a fourth lineman.

2. Shiny helmets sure have the USC Family talking: As we said yesterday, nothing gets USC fans talking like whispers of a uniform or equipment change. After a photo leaked of a potentially super shiny new helmet for the 2014 season, that exact thing happened. As of writing this, over 270 fans voted in our poll on the helmets, with 43 percent approving the look, 31 hating them and 26 not interested enough to care either way. On Twitter, there was former USC tight end Alex Holmes pleading the athletic department not to make the change with current linebacker Scott Starr siding with him. And there was Antwaun Woods approving them in a reply to former safety Marshall Jones. Needless to say, full on agreement is just about impossible among fans and players alike.

3. Unbroken trailer released: A week after the loss of Louis Zamperini, his story is getting closer and closer to finding itself in theaters. Thursday afternoon, the trailer for his biopic Unbroken was released on YouTube, with over 36,000 views in the first day alone. It’s a remarkable trailer that director Angelina Jolie and the Coen brothers have put together, as the film looks to have the makings of a serious contender for awards. English actor Jack O’Connell plays the role Zamperini and in the brief clips shown, looks to put on a solid performance. The film is set to be released on Christmas Day just before awards season, and while it has all the makings of a classic, it’s hard to imagine it being able to eclipse the incredible life of Zamperini himself. Check out the trailer by clicking here.

They said it:

"“It’s a great education and at the same time playing for a prestigious program.” -Isaiah Langley on why he committed to USC on Tuesday night."

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