Unwrapping the New 2016 USC Football Media Guide


The 2016 USC football media guide was released Wednesday ahead of Pac-12 Media Days, with plenty of tidbits to snack on for the coming season.

Slowly but surely, the 2016 season is coming closer and closer. And nothing announces the closeness of fall camp like the USC football media guide.

This year’s edition highlights head coach Clay Helton, wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and three-way star Adoree’ Jackson on the cover.

As other coaches before him have done, Helton didn’t shy away from championship aspirations in the prospectus.

“I, along with our coaches and players, understand where the bar is set and we welcome the high expectations,” Helton said. “Our goal will never change here at USC. We are about winning championships and all of us will work tirelessly toward that goal.”

While the Trojans gear up for the coming season, here’s some of the most interesting notes and factoids from the 2016 media guide…

Position Listings

With so many USC players capable of playing both ways, and more than a few positions in need of extra help, examining the Trojan position listings can say a lot and a little at the same time.

For instance, Jalen Greene, Ajene Harris, and Khaliel Rodgers are all listed at their normal positions — quarterback, wide receiver and offensive line, respectively — yet all three have spent more time at new positions this summer — wide receiver, cornerback and defensive line, respectively.

Does that mean these summer position swaps mean nothing? Probably not. Fall camp will be required to sort those players out.

On the other hand, it does seem meaningful to note that incoming freshmen Jack Jones and Keyshawn “Pie” Young are both listed as receiver-cornerbacks, while Ykili Ross, who was another potential two-way player, is listed only at safety. Expect to see both Young and Jones get a chance to impress on offense this fall.

It’s also worth pointing out that Osa Masina, who was listed as a defensive end in the spring media guide, is now listed among the inside linebackers. He’ll be competing for a spot in the rotation with Olajuwon Tucker and Quinton Powell.

Number Intrigues

Earlier this year USC listed Cameron Smith at No. 55 on the new roster. That number was switched back to No. 35 fairly quickly and his name remains beside it on the official media guide roster today.

Though the Trojans clearly flirted with assigning the famous No. 55 to Smith, it now seems clear that he’ll persist with the No. 35.

RELATED: 99 Best USC Players By Jersey Number

Elsewhere on the number front, the aforementioned dual positions for Jones and Young could get complicated as they both share numbers with receivers on the roster. Jones’ No. 1 also belongs to Darreus Rogers while Young’s No. 17 will also be worn by fellow freshman Josh Imatorbhebhe.

Waiting For the Transfer

The Trojans got a huge boost on the defensive line when Utah defensive tackle Stevie Tu’ikolovatu chose USC as his graduate transfer destination.

As of now, however, Tu’ikolovatu is not officially a Trojan player. He is not listed in the media guide and, though he continues to work out with USC players at summer workouts, he’s done so in Utah gear.

Pronounciation Help

Some of the newest Trojans have somewhat difficult names to say and spell. USC has you covered with their handy pronounciation guide:

ANGELINE, Cary — ANN-juh-leen

BETIKU, Oluwole — buh-TEE-koo, OE-loo-WOE-lee

FATU, Josh — FAH-too

IMATORBHEBHE, Daniel/Josh — ee-MAT-tor-bay-bay

IOSEFA, Jordan — ee-oe-SEF-uh

MALEPEAI, Vavae — mah-lay-PAY-eye, vah-VYE

Class Breakdown

Need a great example of the effect of sanctions on USC’s roster? All you need to do is look at the class breakdown for the 2016 team.

There are 14 seniors, 24 juniors, 31 sophomores and 32 freshmen.

Geographic Breakdown

USC has as many players on this year’s squad from Nigeria (Oluwole Betiku) and Australia (Chris Tilbey) as from Alabama (Velus Jones Jr.) and Arizona (Connor Murphy).

CHECK OUT: 14 Recent Recruits USC Stole from SEC Country

All told, the Trojans boast 68 players from California; four from Florida, Georgia, and Texas; two from Washington, Utah, Hawai’i and Maryland; and one each from Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.

All-Time Stats

A trio of Trojans can already claim spots on USC’s All-Time stats lists.

Running back Justin Davis ranks No. 22 on the Trojan career rushing list with 1,858 yards. He’s just behind Ryan Knight but ahead of Leroy Holt.

Dangerous returner Adoree’ Jackson is No. 4 on USC’s career list for kick returns with 1,374 yards. That’s behind R. Jay Soward and ahead of Robert Woods.

JuJu Smith-Schuster also trails Soward on the career pass catching list. With 2,178 career yards he sits No. 13, which is just ahead of Patrick Turner.

SEE ALSO: Could JuJu Smith-Schuster Break USC’s Receiving Records in 2016?

Smith-Schuster’s 2015 season also earned him a place on USC’s single-season pass catching list at No. 7. His 1,454 yards last year are behind Dwayne Jarrett’s 2005 season but ahead of Johnnie Morton’s 1993 season.

Ten Trojan Trivia Tidbits

Technically, Clay Helton contributed to the run of seven Trojan head coaches who won their coaching debuts. He also ended the streak. That’s because USC counts his interim debut in the 2013 Las Vegas Bowl as a debut win, while also docking him for losses in his interim debut at Notre Dame and his full-time debut in the Pac-12 Championship game against Stanford. The good news is, Helton still has a chance to continue the stretch of eight USC coaches who have won their Coliseum debuts by matching his interim win over Utah last year with a win over Utah State this September.

USC is 3-0 inside domed stadiums, which is a nice stat to reference seeing as the Trojans with face Alabama in the domed AT&T Stadium for this year’s season opener.

The Trojans have a 77.9% win rate in season openers with a 79.2% win record in road openers.

USC is 5-0 in games played on Friday, which bodes well for the Trojans’ Friday night tilt against Utah on September 23.

Two USC football players have won gold medals at the Olympics — Fred Kelly in 1912 and Ken Carpenter in 1936. Unfortunately Adoree’ Jackson won’t have a chance to join that number this year after missing out at the Olympic trials.

More from Reign of Troy

Four of USC’s 11 national championships were won following the Summer Olympics — 1928, 1932, 1972 and 2004.

Since the Summer Olympics have aligned with U.S. presidential elections, those four national titles also came in election years. Not all elections are created equally though. The Trojans have won 80.7% of their games in years when a Republican was elected. When a Democrat has won? USC has won just 67.8% of their games.

USC hasn’t sold out a game at the Coliseum since the 2013 upset against Stanford.

USC has the fifth most 1,000-yard rushers in the country with 28, behind Central Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Ohio State. Buck Allen was the last Trojan running back to hit the 1,000-yard mark but both Justin Davis and Ronald Jones II came close to it last year. Only Oklahoma and Nebraska have had more career 1,000-yard rushers than USC’s 57.

The Trojans have won just 48.8% of their games against UCLA when the following game that looms is versus Notre Dame. Even more concerning since USC plays the Bruins and Irish in back-to-back games this season, the Trojans have won a mere 41.4% of games against Notre Dame after facing UCLA.

The 2016 USC football media guide will be available for purchase in the USC Bookstore at the beginning of August. It can also be accessed in digital form online.