Trojans Need the NFL Combine, Plus More USC Football News


Tuesday’s SCliff Notes looks at the necessity of the NFL Combine, and the latest USC football news from around the net.

Can’t get enough USC football news? We’ve got your morning dose of all the best content from around the web concerning the Men of Troy.

1st & 10:

First Take… 

The NFL Combine kicks off next week in Indianapolis, with seven members of the 2015 USC football having received invitations.

This of course means that it’s the start of everyone’s favorite time of the year: when NFL pundits start to officially label college football stars as either impending Hall of Famers or soon-to-be flawed flame-outs. For the Trojans set to make the trek across the country, it’s a big weekend, as there are a few guys who could be penned into such categories.

As it stands now, USC lacks a clear-cut prospect set to go in the first round, but with Su’a Cravens and Max Tuerk originally projected as high-ceiling first rounders, anything could happen regardless of draft position.

Cravens has perhaps the most to gain, as a technically sound, NFL-ready player stuck between a pair of positions. Despite playing linebacker in each of the last two seasons, he’s made it clear that he wants to safety. That uncertainty has affected his draft stock, with him currently sporting a 2nd round grade by CBS Sports, and a 59th overall prospect ranking.

READ ALSO: 7 Trojans Get Invited to the NFL Combine

Then there’s Tuerk, who missed the last eight games of the 2015 season with a torn ligament in his knee. He’s not expected to run until Pro Day at the earliest according to CBS’s Rob Rang, but a strong showing in the strength drills could buy a team insurance on concerns that he won’t be available in 2016. Tuerk is projected to go in the 4th or 5th round of the NFL Draft.

Lastly, the Combine is a place for the unheralded to make a name for themselves. Kevon Seymour and Tre Madden lacked the attention that other players around them received, but could turn out to be solid contributors at the next level.

How will Seymour perform in the defensive back drills? Can Madden prove he’ll be healthy after he missed the Holiday Bowl due to arthroscopic surgery on his knee?

So many questions and not enough answers yet. Stay tuned to RoT this week, as we’ll be breaking down the pre-combine scouting report of each USC Trojans set to attend.

And Ten USC Football and Basketball News Links…

  1. Less than a week after collapsing on campus, USC athletic director Pat Haden returned home over the weekend. (OC Register)
  2. After losing to both Arizona State and Arizona over the weekend, Andy Enfield’s USC hoops team dropped to a No. 6 seed in Shelby Mast’s latest bracketology. (USA Today)
  3. They also fell out of the polls, as Shotgun Spratling writes. (
  4. Greg Katz takes a look at the Trojans’ new coaching staff, including Clay Helton’s remarks on new offensive line coach Neil Callaway. (ESPN)
  5. As USC enters the 2017 recruiting cycles, there’s a few positions they’ll need to stock up on, including quarterback. (Reign of Troy)
  6. It’s that time for way-to-early Las Vegas odds, and USC is sporting a 33-to-1 line on their chances of winning the national championship. (LA Times)
  7. Our FanSided friends over at Saturday Blitz assembled the ultimate college football team. Naturally, it includes a couple of Trojans. (Saturday Blitz)
  8. Who’s the most underrated Trojan on the team? That’s a tough question and with several potential answers, like Justin Davis, Darreus Rogers or even Zach Banner. ESPN picked their guy and it’s Cam Smith. (ESPN)
  9. The brother of Stanford phenom and Trojan killer Christian McCaffrey announced his commitment on Monday, and it’s definitely not a Pac-12 team. (Freep)
  10. ICYMI, we released our now annual rendition of USC themed Valentine’s Day cards over the weekend. (Reign of Troy)

Stat of the Day:

USC men’s basketball is 0-4 as a ranked team in 2016, having been swept during road trips to Oregon and Arizona.

Tweets of the Day: