I can't even remember how many times last year I wished that I wished Stanley Havili would be moved from fullback to a more featured, power H-back role in the USC offense.
It sounds like in Lane Kiffin's new scheme, some of my hopes might be realized.
Most people have assumed that bringing in a Pete Carroll disciple means limited changes for the USC football team, but I never really thought that would be the case. I got some pretty major insights into the changes fans can expect yesterday following a chance meeting.
I stopped into the Subway restaurant north of USC's University Park Campus in a less than welcoming area known as the University Village with the hope of grabbing a quick, low calorie bite to eat. While I should have noticed it myself, a friend (who just graduated) pointed Havili out to me.
Apparently they had been in class together. On a side note, since USC has become a premier American academic institution, I'll praise Stanley for not only being a great football player but also for being a great student.
My friend said he never missed class, and that seemed to fit with his extremely clean-cut persona.
I decided to take advantage of my opportunity by asking him a relatively simple question (I would have been unhappy with myself if I hadn't).
Approaching his table, I gave a brief introduction and then asked how he thought the offense was going to overcome the departures of players like Damian Williams, Anthony McCoy, and Joe McKnight.
His answer surprised me.
He said that the offense will be spreading the ball around even more this year than they had previously and that David Ausberry will have a featured role as a tight end as well as a running back.
That is certainly a new idea from the Lane Kiffin offensive scheme factory.
Based on what he was saying, Ausberry should be one of the main offensive weapons.
However, the thing that really made me hopeful was Havili's praise for the younger guys. He said that in practice they have really shown a lot of promise and that he expects immediate impact from them.
Coming from a senior who has been very active in the USC game (he ranks 25th on the USC career pass-catching list as a fullback ), I'd call that expert analysis.
Overall, the lesson was in a time of criticism and concern about the USC program, there are still guys out there providing hope for the Trojan fans worldwide with outstanding character, hard work, and an unbelievable amount of football talent.
For Havili, Kiffin, and the USC offense, the future is bright.