Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 8/30/12
LOS ANGELES --- There was a familiar face at Howard Jones Field on Wednesday. Wearing a white No. 39 USC practice uniform, there was Simione Vehikite. The 511 225-pound redshirt junior linebacker has rejoined the team, the school announced Thursday. Vehikite missed all of spring practice dealing with legal issues. His involvement in a July 2011 accident led to his arrest in February. He was charged with four felony counts --leaving the scene of a car accident, driving with a .08 percent blood-alcohol level and causing injury, driving under the influence causing injury, and identity theft, according to the Los Angeles Times. He pleaded no contest to two of the counts as part of a plea offer and in May was sentenced to one year in jail. Vehikite served just over three months before he was released earlier this month. Once USC found out about the incident, Vehikite was removed from the team and all team activities. Simi is back with our team, said head coach Lane Kiffin. Simi has done everything fulfilling his obligations to the team to get back. (Hes) been through a lot (and) has fulfilled all of his legal obligations as well. Kiffin says last semester Vehikite passed 20 units and is close to graduating. He isnt expected to play in Saturdays opener against Hawaii. Vehikite attended Koplei High School in Hawaii. If he does find the field, Kiffin says he wouldnt have a very big role but would be ready to go if called upon. Last season Vehikite appeared in all 12 games and made six tackles. He worked as a reserve linebacker, fullback, and on special teams. Kiffin says Vehikite's scholarship is still intact. It appears this puts the Trojans at the 75-NCAA imposed scholarship limit and still without wide receiver Darreus Rogers. When asked if the Trojans would still have room for Rogers if he became eligible, Kiffin responded, We dont get into specifics and numbers and planning but Darreus is not cleared to go anyway. USC had to be at the 75 scholarship limit by the time school started on Monday. Being able to add Vehikite means they were under that limit. Rogers would have to be cleared by Sept. 14 in order to attend USC this semester. However, it appears there may not be a scholarship waiting for him. The No.1 Trojans will kickoff the 2012 season on Saturday at the Coliseum against Hawaii. The game can be seen at 4:30pm live on FOX.
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