USC Football will likely land impressive transfer class

first_img“After a lot of thinking and talking with my family, I’ve decided to leave UT and return home,” McCoy wrote on May 31.  The NCAA requires transfers to sit for a year before they can become eligible. Though both McCoy and Steele have appealed this, their eligibility in 2019 remains up in the air.  After standing out in Longhorns’ spring camp, McCoy returned home for his high school graduation and tweeted about his intention to leave Texas. Although McCoy and Steele’s decisions have garnered the most attention, redshirt junior wide receiver Velus Jones Jr.’s decision not to leave the program may prove to be the most impactful for the Trojans heading into the upcoming season.  The likely additions of both McCoy and Steele represent major boosts for the Trojans heading into summer camp. McCoy is viewed by many as a generational talent. He was the No. 1 athlete and No. 9 overall prospect, per 247Sports’ 2019 composite rankings. The pass-catcher boasts an imposing 6-foot-2-inch, 205-pound frame and wowed during practices in Austin with his speed and physicality.   Days later, a source close to McCoy’s family told the Los Angeles Times that McCoy intended to transfer back to USC because of a case of homesickness during his spring semester at Texas.  After a disappointing football season in which USC missed a bowl game, contemplated firing head coach Clay Helton, and retained new offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury for all of a month, Trojan football finally appears to be getting back on track.  On June 5, McCoy retweeted an image posted by incoming freshman wide receiver Kyle Ford of the two wearing USC football uniforms, further proving his recruitment to the Trojan roster. “It’s looking like that’s going to happen,” Norman Steele told the Times last week. “I don’t see anything else happening.” News of McCoy’s decision to transfer arrived in late May. A product of Mater Dei High School, McCoy first committed to the Trojans in January but left to play for the Texas Longhorns after short-lived USC offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury was hired by the Arizona Cardinals.  On the heels of McCoy’s announcement, the Los Angeles Times reported that Chris Steele intended to back out of his commitment to the Oregon Ducks and that Steele’s father had indicated that his son would be enrolling at USC. Photo from Florida Gators / TFB Texascenter_img Steele’s combination of ball skills and speed could provide the Trojans with welcomed support and fill some of the void left by the departure of former USC starting cornerbacks Iman Marshall and Isaiah Langley.  As the Trojans transition to new offensive coordinator Graham Harrell’s “air raid” offense, Jones’ return coupled with McCoy’s arrival may underpin what may be one of college football’s deepest position groups heading into the 2019 season. USC already appears to be set at the wide receiver position with returning starters Michael Pittman Jr., Tyler Vaughns and Amon-Ra St. Brown. Last season the trio racked up 159 receptions for 2,182 yards and 15 touchdowns. Jones can be utilized in the slot, given what appears to be an embarrassment of riches at the receiver position for USC. Steele’s father has indicated that Steele’s commitment to Oregon was largely due to USC’s lack of scholarship spots at the time. Now that space has become available, it appears Steele, who attended high school only 30 minutes away from USC, will be returning home to wear cardinal and gold. Multiple sources are confirming that USC will welcome former 5-star recruit wide receiver Bru McCoy and 4-star cornerback Chris Steele this coming fall. The team hopes to right the ship for a Trojan recruiting class that finished outside the top ten for only the fourth time in 20 years.  Jones entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal in March and reportedly considered following former USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin to Tennessee. On June 3, however, Jones announced his intention to remain a Trojan. Steele participated in spring practice and took classes in Gainesville before announcing that he would enter the NCAA transfer portal on May 9. Days later, he signed with the  Oregon Ducks.  Jones, however, is a sure bet to contribute to the Trojans’ 2019 campaign. He saw significant time as both a receiver and a kick returner in 2018 and appeared in all 12 games. Over the season, Jones had 24 receptions for 266 yards and one touchdown over 21 kickoff returns. This announcement comes after a long recruiting saga for Steele, who first committed to the Trojans in July 2018. He backed out months later and then signed a letter of intent with the Florida Gators.  On the other side of the ball, Steele could reinforce a defensive backfield in need of depth following the departure of three defensive backs to the NFL. last_img read more

Lakers’ Steve Nash remains hopeful of returning

first_imgLong after he kept hoisting pull-up jumpers without any certainty when he’ll return to the court, Lakers guard Steve Nash showed how that hasn’t affected the pleasant personality that’s made him considered one of the NBA’s best teammates.The women’s basketball team representing Nash’s alma mater, Santa Clara, snapped photos of Nash and Kobe Bryant taking part Friday in light shooting drills following the Lakers’ morning shootaround. Nash then engaged them with plenty of small talk, laughs and team pictures and an innocent, albeit awkward, question came up.“They were like ‘How’s the season going?,’ Nash said with a smirk. “There was a moment of pause.”If only they knew. Nash’s basketball life technically extends into the 2014-15 campaign. But the Lakers could waive Nash this offseason via the so-called “stretch provision,” which would allow them to pay the nearly $10 million owed to Nash through three years. That would clear up some of the Lakers’ payroll and ensure only $3 million is counted against their salary cap per year.“I obviously know nothing is guaranteed,” Nash said. “The future is in flux and anything is possible. Frankly with my health, I haven’t proven to anyone and to myself that my body still has what I think it has in the tank. I walk around feeling optimistic I can do it. But I tell my mind daily that I have to prove it.”The Lakers have hurt at point guard beyong Nash’s absence. Bryant performed some stationary shooting Friday but remains two weeks away before returning from a fractured foot. Steve Blake has performed shooting and conditioning drills solely using his left hand, but the Lakers will re-evaluate his hyperextended right elbow on Feb. 1. Jordan Farmar won’t return for at least another four weeks from a torn left hamstring. Xavier Henry will be evaluated on his bone bruise in his right knee within the next week. Meanwhile, the Lakers entered Friday’s game against Utah ranked 13th in the Western Conference.“One thing that I will say about this group that I’m extremely proud of is this type of situation in the NBA nine out of 10 times is one of disaster,” Nash said. “Guys start going their own way and they stop listening to the coach and you got a real combustible atmosphere. It’s amazing and a tribute to the players and coaches and staff that this is still a positive environment. Guys still like coming to work every day. They’re working hard together.”Nash ahs done that too, but it hasn’t materialized yet. That’s why he described these past two seasons with the Lakers as a “nightmare.” But he still showed appreciation for everything else, ranging from his teammates and coaching staff to the Lakers’ front office and fans.“Everyone has treated me incredibly well and better than I could ever ask for,” Nash said. “It’s been a phenomenal experience to be part of another. I hesitate to throw it all out. It’s a special place and fantastic experience in a lot of ways. But it’s really aged me a lot of 20 years.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Nash has sat out in all but six games because of persisting nerve issues in his back. Nash will make his fourth trip this season to Vancouver with his personal trainer Rick Celebrini during the Lakers’ seven-game, 11-day trip to Phoenix (Jan. 15), Boston (Jan. 17), Toronto (Jan. 19), Chicago (Jan. 20), Miami (Jan. 23), Orlando (Jan. 24) and New York (Jan. 26).Should he navigate through that rehab successfully, Nash will practice the following week and return in early February with nearly 35 games left in the regular season. “If it doesn’t work this time, I really put the season in jeopardy. I’m really back to square one with three months left in the season,” said Nash, who turns 40 in February. “That leaves me with very little opportunity. I know I can get healthy. It’s a matter of if I can sustain it.”Nash has reported improvement in his postural stability and movement patterns that limit pressure on his spine each time he’s gone to Vancouver during the Lakers’ recent trips. But Nash also revealed he felt nerve pain in his left leg following some recent shooting drills after working out for three consecutive days. The nerve issues all stem from fracturing his left leg last season and missing 24 games after having surgery. “I really love the game and I know that I’ve got a really short window of basketball in my life,” said Nash, who has averaged 6.7 points on 26.1 percent shooting and 4.8 assists in 22.5 minutes this season. “I just want to get out there.”last_img read more