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2017 Spring Practice #6: Clay Helton

Written by Max Holm and Alexa Palermo

USC got back to work on a warm Saturday morning for its sixth practice of the spring. The Trojans held their first scrimmage in front of a large crowd of fans and former players.

Watch USC head coach Clay Helton's full press conference after Saturday's practice:

Play For LA

33629537625_93f6c8f5c7_k.jpgToday, the Los Angeles City Council honored USC's football, women's soccer and women's water polo teams for their accomplishments last season.

Sam Darnold, flanked by Deontay Burnett, Daniel Imatorbhebhe and Cam Smith, made a speech on behalf of the Rose-Bowl winning football team and received a commemorative memo. Dom Randle spoke on behalf of USC's national champion women's soccer team, while Stephania Haralabidis spoke for national champion women's water polo.

City Councilmembers Paul Krekorian and Curren Price, both USC alumni, conducted the presentation for the Trojans.

2017 Spring Practice #5: Notes

The Trojans had several distinguished guests at practice, highlighted by Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer.
  • RB Aca'cedric Ware has a foot sprain and is doubtful for Saturday's practice, per head coach Clay Helton.
  • Palmer-Practice.jpgWhile the offense returns QB Sam Darnold and several other core talents, Helton sees "more work to do offensively than maybe defensively" at this point.
  • Among the question marks, both offensive tackle spots are open. Chuma Edoga is a polished veteran, giving him the inside track at one of the openings. The other side is more of an open competition and Helton is "extremely impressed" with Andrew Vorhees, a freshman to watch.
  • The offense also has several opportunities at wide receiver and Velus Jones Jr. is seizing a role. He is not a traditional target like Darreus Rogers or JuJu Smith-Schuster, but he "seems to have created an explosion play each and every day," said Helton.
  • While the defense has a lot of experience, veteran linebacker Cam Smith is looking for a partner inside to replace captain Michael Hutchings. John Houston Jr. is first in line. "John is one of the guys I am really excited about. I liked him a lot last year. He just couldn't really crack into the lineup," said defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast about Houston. "I think he's got a real good skill set. I think he's instinctual. I am really looking forward to seeing his progress."
  • Houston learned a lot from watching Hutchings, and he still taps into his knowledge whenever he sees him. "Mike is still a leader, so I still take notes from him," said Houston. "He tells me different keys each time that I see him. So coming after him is one of the best things that I could do because he has a lot of experience with the defense. He knows it like both sides of his hands, so I feel like having him as my right hand is going to help me out this season."
  • Pendergast has noticed that sophomore inside linebacker candidate Jordan Iosefa picked up some tricks from Hutchings as well. "Jordan gained a lot of valuable experience last year as well. He's a very good communicator. He has a good feel for what we want to do defensively. He had an opportunity to watch Mike for a year, so that was big for him."
  • With Hutchings gone, Iosefa is ready to lean on Smith's brain and precognitive abilities. "He's helped me understand what's going to happen first down, second down, third down," Houston said about Smith. "He helped me understand what Coach Clancy's thinking because he would know what Coach Clancy was thinking. He would kind of expect it, and it's the same thing that goes for me. I kind of expect what Coach Clancy's going to call."
  • Freshman LB Tayler Katoa is trying to work into the mix as well, but he's making a positional change, so he has a lot to learn. "He's a guy that hasn't played a lot of linebacker, but he's a raw athlete," said Pendergast about Katoa. "He's very receptive, takes coaching very well. Those are the kind of guys you like to coach."
  • The Trojans are allowed three live tackling days out of the 15 practices and Saturday's scrimmage will be one of them. The scrimmage is open to the public and will be on Howard Jones Field at 10 a.m.
  • Here is head coach Clay Helton on the legends at practice and much more:


State of Troy: March 2017

Each month, we interview USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann to get his take on the hot topics around Heritage Hall.

Swann on men's basketball's NCAA Tournament run...

usc-basketball-Baylor-NCAA-tournament-2017-mcgillen-Lr-7086.jpgNumber one, I thought the season was terrific. The coaches and players would like to still be playing basketball and have a run at the national championship, but when you look back at it, and you see that they won more games in a season than any other team in the history of USC men's basketball, that is a significant accomplishment. They validated their tournament selection by beating Providence and SMU despite a lot of so-called experts suggesting that they should not have been there. I think the players saw that they had a good chance to beat Baylor and be in the Sweet 16, and so as an athlete, that is why they are disappointed. They are not disappointed in their season, but they know they could have gone further. I hope they all come back and improve and get better because I think there is room for improvement. This was a great experience for them and I was pleased to have been there with them.

Swann on hiring a new women's basketball head coach...

I am very involved with this process. The base skill set requires that any candidate be able to teach, manage, organize and recruit. Beyond that, I am looking for someone who can develop and build relationships to get the most out of the team. You have to be able to reach the student-athletes individually to get them to be better people and better players. Hiring a head coach in today's environment, under NCAA and Pac-12 rules, is not as simple as it used to be because there is so much more you have to do off the court that if you are not prepared and organized, you get behind and it is tough to catch up. So, I am looking for someone who has that experience, mostly former head coaches, but we are still looking for talent, and if I believe that someone who has been an assistant and not been a head coach has that ability, I would not hesitate to bring them in and talk to them.

Swann on No. 1 women's water polo's record-setting 48-match winning streak...

To maintain that type of consistency and excellence, there are two things you need. One, you need the talent to pull it off. But, you also need a coach who can keep that team together and knows how to utilize that talent. Jovan Vavic has so many national championship trophies in his office that it is unbelievable. He is the key. He knows how to recruit and train the right student-athletes to give them the confidence and game plan to succeed. Even when his team does not play its best, they still find a way to win because of their preparation, attention to detail and technique.

Swann on No. 1 beach volleyball...

usc-beach-volleyball-2017-zuma-ucla-mcgillen-7466.jpgI have seen coaches who were driven, and I have seen coaches who were talented. Anna Collier is both. She makes it fun and fresh for her players. I was fortunate enough to see them firsthand on the beach in Malibu defeat Pepperdine and UCLA. Our young women are competitive and willing to get after it 100 percent of the time. I am looking forward to the rest of their season and I expect them to continue to do well and make history.

Swann on spring football...

The first challenge for Clay Helton is to get everybody over the fact that we went to the Rose Bowl and we won. You have to refocus. That was January, and we are now moving forward. The goal is to win the Pac-12 championship. You have to do that first, so that is what we want to get accomplished. We are trying to build the depth with our younger players to get to the level of the playoff teams like Clemson, Alabama and Ohio State. We need to be able to rotate players in without losing a level of performance and play. That's what we are striving to do, so that our backup players are not backups but the next guy ready to go in and get the job done.

Swann on the rest of the spring competition...

I am impressed by men's and women's golf, both ranked No. 2 in the nation. The Women of Troy recently won a tournament in Palos Verdes, while I watched the men dominate the field in Las Vegas. Our men's tennis team is in the top 10, while the women have hit a bump in the road, but I expect them to overcome it. Our women's lacrosse team has done very well, going back East and challenging itself against top competition. People are going to see a West Coast team in the East and say, 'I want to be there.' I really like head coach Lindsey Munday's intensity, and she is doing the right thing in terms of her schedule. I see the track and field team every morning working out. The coaches are putting them through their paces, and you can see the enthusiasm about what they have in this team. They had a good indoor season, but the goals are even bigger as the outdoor season begins. And baseball, I enjoyed watching the Trojans at Dodger Stadium, down 3-0 most of the game, come back and beat UCLA in extra innings. If they continue to play with that kind of grit, they will have a great season. Men's volleyball continues to improve, despite some key injuries, and is building for the future. As for our rowing program, they just finished their training camp and I am looking forward to their season and being on the water with them for their competitions. Overall, spring is the busiest time of year, and I think football, women's soccer and men's basketball set the tone with their high-profile success. The enthusiasm is contagious and we are excited to see it spread throughout every sport.

USC Pro Day 2017 With Shaun Cody

As USC Pro Day 2017 unfolded on Wednesday, USC All-American Shaun Cody connected with Trojans past and present to get their perspectives on the young men competing and the importance of Pro Day leading up to the NFL Draft.

Photo Gallery: 2017 USC Pro Day

USC Pro Day gathered the Trojans top NFL prospects as well as scouts and coaches from the league's best teams inside the John McKay Center and out on Cromwell Field. The Trojans were physically tested in every which way and our John McGillen captured the combine through his lens.


2017 Spring Practice #3: Clay Helton

On a sunny Saturday morning, USC football hit the practice field for the third practice of the spring season. The Trojans donned full pads for the first time, and upped the energy for a spirited session to send the team into spring break.

Watch USC head coach Clay Helton's full press conference after Saturday's practice:

2017 Spring Practice #2: Notes

Written by Max Holm and Alexa Palermo, USC blog contributors

USC football got back to business on Thursday for its second practice of spring football.

  • usc-football-spring-2017-030717-mcgillen-8618.jpgCoach Clay Helton laid out the focus for his team for the first few practices. "Right now we're focusing on just getting through our base installation, our first and second down game plan over the first three days." The Trojans first full pad practice will take place on Saturday. After Saturday, the team will be on spring break and then return for four more weeks of spring football.
  • Helton noted new injuries in addition to those he mentioned on Tuesday: WR Josh Imatorbhebhe (shoulder), CB/WR Keyshawn "Pie" Young (groin), DT Jacob Daniel (hamstring) and WR Jake Russell (hip flexor).
  • In addition to injury news, Helton announced that safety John Plattenburg will be stepping away from football. "He suffered a concussion in the Rose Bowl and because of medical situations he's chosen to just concentrate on academics. He's done so much for us. He's a Trojan for life." Plattenburg's departure adds to the need for many Trojans to step up.
  • One of those players ready to step up is wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (pictured). Pittman got first team reps for the second day in a row and is excited about the competition. "It's competition all day: meetings, workouts, field. Competition really pushes you to be the best and we got a lot of that here," said Pittman. "I think that anyone can step up. We have a good group of talented guys and any of us could."
  • In addition to Pittman and Tyler Vaughns, Helton said he was impressed by redshirt freshman Velus Jones Jr. "You can see the speed just go by you," said Helton. "He's going to be a dangerous weapon. Hopefully he'll provide some speed like Adoree' did."
  • While the Trojans will look toward new faces at wide receiver, the team returns almost all of its running backs. Ronald Jones II will be the feature back and is embracing more of a leadership role this spring. "I think the leadership starts with me, Ced and James," said Jones. "Being the older guys, we got sophomores and some freshmen coming in, so they will look up to us and ask us how to do things. I think it is going to be on our shoulders this year."
  • The Trojans will also look to fill the void at corner back left by Adoree' Jackson, with Jack Jones in play to earn a starting spot opposite his good friend from Long Beach Poly, Iman Marshall. "He knows he's got the opportunity to compete and fill some big shoes," said Helton. "In the first two days he's made some big plays out here, a couple interceptions and a couple break ups." Helton added that Jones' competitiveness has become very apparent.
  • As the Trojans look to strengthen their secondary, they'll also look to establish a new offensive line. Helton said Cam Smith told him that what's stood out to him has been the speed of the line. "He said they're getting to the second level quicker," explained Helton, who referenced the athleticism of this group. Helton also praised the younger guys, naming freshman Andrew Vorhees as someone who is playing well despite being so young.
  • Despite the youth and losses on the offensive line, the Trojans will return veterans Nico Falah and Toa Lobendahn. Helton said he envisions the best center between the two of them starting at that position and that ideally the other would move to guard or tackle. "You got to find your best five," said Helton.
  • USC's third practice will be held on Saturday.
  • Watch Helton's full press conference here:

McGillen Gallery: 2017 Spring Practice #1

Yesterday, USC football hit the practice field for the first time since the culmination of the 2016 season. At the start of spring ball, the Trojans welcomed a few new faces, plus future and past members of the football team.

2017 Spring Practice #1: Notes

USC football kicked off its preparation for the 2017 season with the first practice of spring football today.

  • usc-football-spring-2017-030717-mcgillen-7531.jpgJunior LB Cam Smith summed it up best. "It was awesome. It feels so good to be out here," he said. "It was a great day one."
  • USC head coach Clay Helton noted that the following players won't take the field with Smith this spring, as they're still recovering from injury: C Toa Lobendahn (ACL), DB Jonathan Lockett (hip surgery), WR Steven Mitchell Jr. (ACL), WR Trevon Sidney (hip surgery), OT Nathan Smith (ACL).
  • Helton also mentioned that the following players would be limited in spring practice: DT Kenny Bigelow (ACL), DT Jacob Daniel (hamstring), LB Porter Gustin (hand surgery), C Nico Falah (back), OG Viane Talamaivao (hamstring) and RB Dominic Davis (concussion symptoms).
  • Aside from injured players, four notable Trojans will be absent from USC's spring practice: all four of the 2016 team captains. QB Max Browne transferred to Pitt, while LB Michael Hutchings and OT Zach Banner graduated and CB Adoree' Jackson left for the NFL. As a result, one of Helton's main focuses this camp is developing leadership. "It's going to be a time for young people that were freshmen and sophomores to step up and take more of a leadership role," he said.
  • QB Sam Darnold (pictured), who won the 2016 Archie Griffin Award and was named a 2016 Freshman All-American, is a natural candidate to step into a leadership position. "He's pushed himself into a bit of a vocal role," Helton said of his QB. "I've asked Sam to just be him. One of the great things that Sam does: he is a great one-on-one leader, to pull a guy aside and communicate with him."
  • In addition to honing his leadership skills, Darnold has spent his offseason studying film, getting more flexible and developing relationships with a young wide receiving corps following the departure of JuJu Smith-Schuster and Darreus Rogers, the two most prolific wideouts last season. "There's not really that go-to guy yet," Darnold said. "Everyone can make plays, and that's my point: that I can trust anyone on every single play."
  • Deontay Burnett, the most productive returning WR, echoed Darnold's sentiment. "I don't plan on there being a go-to guy," he said. "Everybody is going to get their opportunity. That's how I'm going to approach this season. I'm not going to think just because Darreus and JuJu left, it's my turn. It's everyone's turn. We're going to need everybody to win a national championship."
  • Burnett did look like an emerging No. 1 receiver on the field, though, with sophomore Michael Pittman Jr. just behind. Redshirt freshman Tyler Vaughns got a number of good looks, as well. "We really want to bring those younger guys along, and when we do I think we are going to be a scary offense to deal with," said Darnold.
  • Darnold, his teammates and his head coach all emphasized that while proud of their accomplishments last season, they want to start fresh in their quest for a Pac-12 title and a national championship this year. "Last year was extremely rewarding, going to the Rose Bowl," Helton said. "But that is in the past now, and we move on, because it is a new year, and there are a lot of things that we have to address."
  • One issue the Trojans must address is the departure of three starting offensive linemen (Banner, Chad Wheeler and Damien Mama). Helton said that junior Chuma Edoga and redshirt sophomore Roy Hemsley are the likeliest candidates to replace Wheeler and Banner on the left and right flanks of Darnold, respectively. Edoga has four starts under his belt, while Hemsley saw action in two games last year.
  • On the other side of the ball, USC must replace "the middle of a defense," as Helton characterized NT Stevie Tu'ikolovatu, Mike LB Michael Hutchings and FS Leon McQuay III. But several young Trojans are on the rise, according to their teammates. "He's athletic, and he knows his stuff," said Smith of redshirt sophomore LB John Houston. Senior safety Chris Hawkins called redshirt freshman safety Jamel Cook "a good football player," and said he's excited to see him go full speed once he learns the playbook.
  • USC gears up for its second spring practice on Thursday.
  • Watch Helton's full press conference here:

Trojans Live: Spring Football Preview

USC head coach Clay Helton and rising sophomore WR Michael Pittman Jr. joined Trojans Live last night to preview spring football. Helton emphasized the need to use the Rose Bowl success as a springboard going into next season, while Pittman is expected to help fill the gaping hole left by JuJu Smith-Schuster and Darreus Rogers.

Click here to watch Pittman on Trojans Live.

Also on the show, women's tennis star Madison Westby talking about the program's huge win over No. 4 Michigan, growing up in Oklahoma and her plans for life after tennis.

Click here to watch Westby on Trojans Live.

Here is Helton on the eve of Spring Football:


Staffing Up

Bryan Ellis, who helped coach Western Kentucky's prolific offenses the past 3 seasons (2014-16) and even called plays during the Hilltoppers' 2016 bowl game, has joined USC as an offensive administrative assistant.

Click here for the full story.

Ellis, 28, was an offensive quality control coach in his first year at Western Kentucky in 2014, assisting quarterbacks coach (and current USC assistant) Tyson Helton as WKU played in the Bahamas Bowl. Brandon Doughty led the nation in passing yards (4,380) and touchdowns (49) in 2014 while winning the Sammy Baugh Award as the nation's top quarterback. Ellis then was WKU's running backs coach in 2015 (the team played in the Miami Beach Bowl), as Anthony Wales ran for 1,086 yards and D'Andre Ferby made the Conference USA All-Freshman team. In 2016, Ellis was the Hilltoppers' wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator, as Taywan Taylor had 98 catches for 1,730 yards with 17 TDs and Nicholas Norris added 76 receptions for 1,318 yards with 14 TDs (the Hilltoppers threw for 4,715 yards and 42 scores). Due to a coaching change, Ellis served as WKU's offensive coordinator in the 2016 Boca Raton Bowl and helped the Hilltoppers roll up 51 points and 598 total yards in a victory over Memphis. Before that, he was an offensive graduate assistant at Alabama-Birmingham, his alma mater, for 2 seasons (2012-13).

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Trojans Shine at NFL Combine

Trojans Shine at NFL Combine

Run DMC

USC football officially announced the hire of Deland McCullough as the new running backs coach and run game coordinator to replace Tommie Robinson. McCullough spent the last six years at Indiana, grooming tailbacks that broke 19 school records during his tenure.

"We are thrilled to welcome Deland to the Trojan Family and fortunate to have him on our staff," said head coach Clay Helton. "He had great success recruiting and then developing prolific running backs at Indiana who were NFL ready. The Indiana run game during his time was effective, efficient and productive.  He understands the running game and was himself a very skilled runner as a college and pro player. He relates well to his players and has a unique background dating to his days working in education as a principal."

Click here for the full story.


At Indiana, he tutored three future NFL running backs in Stephen Houston, Tevin Coleman (who scored a touchdown in Super Bowl LI) and Jordan Howard, while Devin Redding is likely to get drafted this year.  Coleman (2015) and Howard (2016) became the first Indiana running backs to be drafted in consecutive years since 1990-92. In 2015, All-Big Ten first team honoree Howard (1,213) and Redding (1,012) each eclipsed 1,000 yards, a first in program history, and Redding did so again in 2016 (1,122) to become the first Hoosier to accomplish that since 1990-91. In 2014, Coleman was a unanimous All-American, All-Big Ten first teamer and Doak Walker Award finalist when he finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting and ran for a school record 2,036 yards.

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2017 NFL Combine Preview

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The NFL Combine invited eight Trojans to the annual scouting showcase in Indianapolis which will be televised March 3-6 on NFL Network.

USC will have half of its players featured on day one, starting with All-American offensive tackles Zach Banner and Chad Wheeler as well as offensive guard Damien Mama. RB Justin Davis will cap the first day.

On Saturday, the wide receivers will be on display, giving Darreus Rogers and JuJu Smith-Schuster an opportunity to flash their speed and show off their hands. USC's two leading receivers combined for 126 catches last season.

After an impressive Senior Bowl display, DT Stevie Tu'ikolovatu will be the lone Trojan under the bright lights on Sunday. And last but certainly not least, Adoree' Jackson will attempt to win an island on Monday if he can run the fastest 40 in NFL Combine history.

The Trojans are already in Indianapolis, interviewing with teams and getting their measurements taken. To follow the coverage this weekend, check out @USC_Athletics on Twitter and @usc_athletics on Instagram.

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Primetime in South Bend Again

The greatest intersectional rivalry in college football, USC and Notre Dame, will kick off at 4:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, October 21, in South Bend. The game will be broadcast live on NBC.

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Talk of the Town

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USC QB Sam Darnold is the talk of the NFL Combine, and he's not even in Indianapolis. The rising redshirt sophomore is not eligible for the NFL Draft until next year, and he could stay in college for three more seasons, but whenever he decides to come out, the professional scouts and executives are salivating for his services.

After the above tweet, NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah expanded, "This isn't a big surprise. Personnel executives have spent the last month or so watching a ton of tape. When you're studying draft-eligible defenders against USC, (Darnold) jumps off the screen. He only has one year of college playing experience, but he's clearly captured the attention of NFL evaluators."

Click here for the full story on NFL.com.

While Darnold has all the attributes of a great quarterback, Jeremiah loves his poise above all else. "He has ideal arm strength and athleticism, but the best part about his game is his uncanny poise. He never gets too high or too low during a game and he almost looks bored inside the pocket. When evaluating quarterbacks, poise is the second-most important trait, right behind accuracy. Darnold is one of the most poised signal-callers I've seen in the last few years."

Home Away From Home

DSC_1077.jpgUSC sophomore forward Chimezie Metu has had a number of unique experiences in his short 19 years of life. After being born in Harbor City, CA, he moved with his father, brother and sister to Lagos, Nigeria, where he spent six years before returning to L.A.

While Metu hasn't met many people who have experienced just that, he has found a community of Nigerian Americans at USC who are fiercely proud of their roots and have similar goals and interests.

Metu and a handful of other Trojans with Nigerian Heritage (Uchenna Nwosu, Oluwole Betiku Jr., Josh and Daniel Imatorbhebhe, Ashleigh Plumptre and more) are drawn to each other in part because of their similar upbringings, with strict parents pushing them towards greatness.

"I feel like it's natural to gravitate towards each other," Nwosu said. "We grew up in the same type of households -- strict parents and stuff like that. So I feel like I make an automatic connection when I meet those type of people and we can relate easier."

Click here to read the full story on the connection and pride of USC Athletics' Nigerian population.

Dare to Dream

After missing an entire season due to hip surgery, Ajene Harris switched positions from wide receiver to cornerback as a redshirt sophomore and then climbed the depth chart to become the first-team nickel back.

"He came back, went to the other side of the ball, and became a star. I don't know if that's happened in USC history. He's a unique person and I think it all comes back to his leadership qualities," said USC OC Tee Martin about Harris.

As remarkable as that may be, Harris has consistently displayed the kind of perseverance and optimism it takes to make the impossible seem possible.

Click here to read how Harris has made his dreams come true at USC.

Harris grew up at 84th and Budlong, just down the street from campus, but the leap from South Central to USC is more than a few city blocks. With steadfast determination and a little help from a local mentor, he made the jump and now wants to help others in his community do the same.

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#FightOnForever: Coach John Jackson

John Jackson Memorial Services Information

Friday, February 24, 2017

FIRST AME CHURCH OF LOS ANGELES
2270 South Harvard Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90018
(323) 735-1251
VIEWING: 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
FUNERAL SERVICES: 12:00 PM

CELEBRATION OF LIFE HONORING JOHN JACKSON
USC Town & Gown (on the campus of USC)
Complimentary parking will be provided at Parking Structure 2 (PS2) located behind the Radisson
Hotel off of Figueroa St. When entering the structure, inform the attendant that you are there for the John Jackson Celebration of Life event or provide the reservation number 168854 to receive your parking pass.
Doors open at 2:30 p.m.
SERVICES START AT 3:00 P.M.

John Jackson, who was the running backs coach for tailbacks Marcus Allen and Charles White during their Heisman Trophy-winning seasons at USC, died on Thursday (Feb. 16) in Torrance, Calif., of complications following intestinal surgery. He was 81.

LYNN CAIN (21), USC FULLBACK JOHN JACKSON, ASST COACH - JOHN JACKSON.jpgInformation on a service for Jackson is pending.

Jackson was the Trojan running backs coach for 6 seasons (1976-81) under head coach John Robinson, and he also served as the offensive coordinator. White won the Heisman in 1979 and finished as the NCAA's second-leading career rusher with 6,245 yards, while Allen won it in 1981 when he became the first collegiate player to run for 2,000 yards in a season. Jackson also coached USC All-American tailback Ricky Bell as well as Lynn Cain, who set the Trojan fullback career rushing record, and future NFL fullback Mosi Tatupu. During Jackson's time at USC, the Trojans won the Rose Bowl 3 times and were the 1978 national champions.

After his coaching days at USC, Jackson worked 17 years with California Sports as a special assistant to Jerry Buss. While there, he ran Forum Boxing and helped develop the Prime Ticket sports cable network.

Jackson returned to the coaching ranks in 1999 as UNLV's running backs coach, run game coordinator and assistant head coach, again working under Robinson. He spent 6 seasons (1999-2004) at UNLV.

He also was the owner and manager of the Culver City (Calif.) Ice Arena from 1982 until it closed in 2014.

Jackson began his coaching career in 1956 as an assistant at his hometown Brooklyn (N.Y.) Technical High. He then spent 3 years in the Marines, attaining the rank of captain. From 1965 to 1967, he was the head coach at Boys High in Brooklyn, where he twice was the New York Metropolitan Coach of the Year and concurrently served as the Dean of Students at Brooklyn Tech.

He then moved to the collegiate ranks, first as the offensive coordinator at Hofstra in 1968 and 1969 (he also was head coach of the track team). He coached the running backs and receivers at Dartmouth in 1970, then spent 5 seasons (1971-75) as the backfield coach at Illinois before coming to USC. 

Jackson is survived by his daughter, Tracie, who currently is employed at USC, and his son, John, an Academic All-American football wide receiver and baseball outfielder at USC (1986-90) who then played in the NFL with the Cardinals and Bears and in baseball's minor leagues and is now the analyst on USC football radio broadcasts in addition to his announcing duties with FOX Sports West, plus 4 grandchildren, his brother, Pazel, and Tracie's and John's mother, Lillian.
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