USC football’s strength and conditioning changes are looking positive

Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy /

USC football players and coaches showed off some of the changes to USC football’s strength and conditioning program under Aaron Ausmus lately.

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Here’s something that could get USC football fans to perk up a bit this offseason.

After announcing his decision to stay with the Trojans instead of transferring, wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. had something telling to say about workouts with new strength and conditioning coach Aaron Ausmus.

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“This new weight program got me ?☠️,” the redshirt junior tweeted.

Considering the questions which have been levied at USC’s strength and conditioning in recent years, it seems like a good sign that players are being challenged enough to post skull and bones emojis in reference to their workouts.

Jones Jr. wasn’t the only one providing nuggets about the shift under Ausmus. The strength coach himself posted a screen shot of a text conversation he had with an unnamed player this past weekend.

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Ausmus noted an upcoming weigh in and told the player to “eat the house.”

The player responded, “Yes coach. I’m eating the house right now.”

“Eat the neighbors house too,” Ausmus replied.

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That elicited a laugh, but it could be enough to make Trojan fans smile as well. The size and strength of USC’s linemen has been a point of contention for some time now, especially after Porter Gustin mentioned last year how he had to push for more and better food options for the team.

It doesn’t end there either.

Over the weekend, USC Athletics tweeted a video showing some of the work the Trojans are doing in summer workouts, including what seemed to be a very competitive bout of tug-of-war.

As always, it’s important not to get too caught up in what are essentially hype videos. Every offseason features players talking about how the team is taking things more seriously this time around. There was the same talk before USC went 5-7 in 2018.

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Still, that doesn’t mean the pieces of the puzzle aren’t coming together.

Positive signs are certainly present at this stage.