Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 4/4/12
USC offensive lineman Aundrey Walker learned a lot as a freshman. Perhaps his most important lesson was "that you can't be 350 (pounds) playing at the collegiate level." With that in mind, Walker had to make a change. He's now a shell of himself. Literally. The USC Trojans' 6'6" 320-pound sophomore offensive lineman lost 63 pounds and is now doing things he wasn't able to do before. "He's completely different," USC head coach Lane Kiffin said. "If you were to watch just when we go from stretch drills down to the offensive line drills, he was always the last guy and I looked for him to be last and he was the first guy down there actually. So, when you lose 60 pounds, you move a little bit better too." Walker, who weighed as much as 378 pounds, dropped all the way down to 315 pounds and is now comfortably playing at 320 pounds. He can thank his diet for shedding the pounds. He eliminated carbs and the ever-tempting late night snack, in favor of meats and vegetables. He's a new man. "I feel more alive," Walker said. He's so alive, Kiffin has trusted him with his most prized possession for now. Walker has been inserted at left tackle for the last two weeks, and as of now, sits in the driver's seat to protect Matt Barkley's blindside. With the departure of Matt Kalil, who entered the NFL Draft and is expected to be a top-five pick later this month, redshirt junior Kevin Graf began the spring on the left side as Kalil's potential successor. The coaches then had a change of heart and Walker, who was on the right side at the start of spring practice, moved to left tackle, sending Graf back to right tackle where he started every game for the Trojans last season. So far, Kiffin likes what he sees. "He's a great athlete," Kiffin said of Walker. "For a guy that size, he can really move well. He will flash at times to show you that he can be a premiere player. So now he's just got a lot of stuff to put together. "We'll continue his development. He's got a lot of upside." However, the head coach is not sure how permanent the change will be, unsure if Walker and Graf may flip flop again. In the meantime, Walker is honored to be on the left side. "I'm protecting Matt Barkley's blind side" Walker said. "It's an honor." NOTES: 15 USC players will be going to Haiti next month to build at least three houses and transport more than 2,000 pounds of supplies to schools and orphanages. The players include Matt Barkley, Devon Kennard, Hayes Pullard, and Robert Woods. "This is something I've talked about with Matt (Barkley) since I was a freshman," said Kennard to usctrojans.com. "It's going to be a blessing to those Haitian people, but this experience will be just as valuable for us." The Trojans will be in Haiti from May 14-19.
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