Found August 31, 2012 on
Fox Sports West:
LOS ANGELES --- Hes one half of USCs 7s Up duo, along with quarterback Matt Barkley. T.J. McDonald had a decision to make. Like his much heralded teammate and roommate last December, McDonald chose to return to school instead of entering the NFL Draft.
As the leader of the Trojans defense, the USC two-time captain is living a dream.
For the son of six-time All Pro and former Trojan, Tim McDonald, USC is neatly inserted into his earliest memories. By all accounts, he grew up a Trojan, twice.
There was T.J. attending countless USC games with his family as a child. And then there was T.J., who just wrapped up his freshman season, when USC was hit with severe sanctions by the NCAA, including a two-year bowl ban.
He watched as plenty of his teammates bolted. He stuck around.
Now, in their first season post the bowl ban, the Trojans are the APs No.1 team in the nation and as McDonald puts it, theres no roof over their heads.
The Trojans will enter their season opener against Hawaii on Saturday at 4:30pm on FOX as a national title favorite.
He returned for his senior season not wanting the Emerald Bowl to be the extent of his bowling experience. He has aspirations for bigger and better things and is taking large steps to do so.
T.J. McDonalds had a really good camp, said USC head coach Lane Kiffin. I think hes really taken his game to another level. I think hes going to have an All-American type year.
McDonald has added 10 pounds to his listed 205-pound frame. Hes taken an even larger role in helping the newcomers, most notably Josh Shaw, a transfer from Florida.
(Ive) been putting a lot of effort into teaching the guys, McDonald said. I think thats the best way to learn is to teach. All the young guys have been coming to me with questions and Ive been able to explain that to them. Its made me a much better player.
Hes revered by his teammates for his leadership and work ethic.
When I came here, I used to always just look at him because he reminded me of (former USC safety) Taylor Mays and he just had the Create-a-Player body, said linebacker Hayes Pullard. I was probably like 511 at the time, 205 (pounds). He looked like he was 66, 270 (pounds).
I was like hes always working hard hes not even saying nothing. The coaches always mentioned his name and I always wanted to be that guy.
For that guy, whos been a USC fan his whole life and speaks fondly of the first sweatsuit he ever received as a child which had a USC logo on it, Saturday's walk out of the tunnel at the Coliseum will be his last in a season opener. He realizes these are his last days wearing the Cardinal and Gold uniform.
Its my last chance, McDonald said. I dont get no chances after this. So, for me, its just I got to make sure that I come out here every day with a purpose.
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So much for Southern California hospitality.
Just in time for Norm Chows return to the Coliseum as Hawaiis head coach, USC Coach Lane Kiffin confirmed Thursday that USC would no longer make the stadium available to visiting teams for walk-throughs the day before games.
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Schools customarily make their...
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Two former USC athletes are being accused of accepting improper gifts while they were in school. Will USC be punished over it?
Sensational senior quarterback Matt Barkley and the University of Southern California Trojans will host the University of Hawaii Warriors later tonight to commence the 2012 campaign at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Led by the 21-year-old Barkley, who has tossed … Continue reading →
A USC Trojan fan with too much time on his hands happened to make this Lane Kiffin-Mike Jones mash up video set to the song “Still Tipping.” The lyrics are hilarious. A sample includes:
Kiffin on 4 4s
Packing Rose Bowls
The title of course is “Still Kiffin.” I enjoyed it.
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USC head coach Lane Kiffin addresses the media the last time prior to the Trojans' season opener on Saturday hosting Hawaii.
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