Campus Scoop with Mike Yam at USC

The cast and crew wrapped up the Training Camp tour today at USC. For Curtis Conway and Yogi Roth, it was a homecoming of sorts. While they caught up with some old friends and familiar faces, Mike Yam reported back with his thoughts on the Trojans

How did the recent media buzz surrounding Coach Sarkisian impact your time at USC?

 “I think my preparation for the USC show was vastly different than I thought it was going to be two weeks ago when I was looking at the schedule and knowing we were going to finish our Training Camp tour with the Trojans. Obviously the last few days have been a whirlwind for not only Sark and the USC football community but really the college football world. People converged onto campus yesterday to hear what Sark had to say about the embarrassing moment he had over the weekend. I think Sark was great with us because he understands that he made a mistake. He owned it. I don’t know how many coaches would have been able to deal with the criticism the way he has. I think all of the players and coaches just want Week 1 to get here because when you circle back, they’re going to come out of the gates 2-0. Then they’re going to match up against Stanford and ASU. They were picked to win the South, but ASU was right on their heels. If they go 4-0, I think what has happened over the last few days is something we’re not going to focus on anymore.  Cody Kessler said, ‘It has almost been a positive in the sense that our team is really a lot closer.’”

What else did you gain from the time you spent with Kessler?

“Just speaking with Cody about football and what he has been doing this offseason, you can tell that he’s become more mature. Something that’s cool about the Training Camp tour is I’ve had the opportunity to talk to the same players over the past few years, and you really forget that they’re still just college kids. They’re still growing up, and they’re still trying to figure things out. The maturity that they display over the course of their college seasons to me is gratifying. I can’t even imagine what it’s like for a lot of coaches on a lot of the staffs around the conference to be able to look at their players and see how much they’ve grown personally. I think watching Cody develop on the football field is one thing. I think everyone is capable of seeing that, but to see his maturity and hear him talk about what he’s done this offseason whether it’s working with Special Olympics or just working on his own craft as a football player, that’s special. It was one of the cooler things for me to see.”

Did anything funny happen at practice?

“When you come to a USC practice, it’s all business. The guys are getting after it, and they’re getting physical. But one of the funniest moments that I’m going to remember from the Training Camp tour is seeing Zach Banner, the son of our friend and colleague Lincoln Kennedy, host a segment with Yogi, which we’re calling ‘Meet the Linemen’. He asked a couple of his teammates what their favorite shampoo is and to hear TRESsemme come out of their mouths a few times was funny. We had Antwaun Woods on set with us, and he had heard what his linemen were saying, and we got a big kick out of the fact that Antwaun Woods, who is a huge defensive lineman, talked about TRESsemme. It was absolutely hysterical.

 To look back at every stop on the Football Training Camp tour, visit Pac-12 Networks Insider Blog.

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