Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Trojan's tears has Tyrone snoopin' ... ?

It’s a well established “fact” that there is no crying in baseball … unless you’re Wade Boggs. In football, there is Hines Ward, Dick Vermeil and any real man who watches Brian’s Song. At USC, we’ve got Manuel Wright and Larry Smith, who cried into his wife’s arms when we canned him after the 1992 Freedom Bowl tragedy.

Apparently there is a new USC Trojan who shed a few tears in Fayetteville, during our 50-14 route of the Razorbacks. Scott Wolf of the L.A. Daily News wrote in his beat report today:
As USC concluded its blowout victory over Arkansas, freshman tailback Stafon Johnson was crying on the sideline, but they were not quite tears of joy.

Johnson's emotional display came from the fact he was the only tailback who did not play for the Trojans in the season-opener.

"I feel as if I didn't contribute or anything," Johnson said. "Everyone wants to compete and get out there and show what they can do."

Johnson was placed on the scout team heading into the Arkansas game, so it's not completely surprising he did not play, despite the lopsided nature of the contest.
As I’ve commented recently it’s obvious that Wolf makes an effort to provide information that other outlets don’t, which goes to show that he learned something as a journalism student at USC. But then he did a curious thing in today’s report, quoting Tyrone Willingham of all people for insight into conjecture about whether Johnson will move to defense.
Washington coach Tyrone Willingham doesn't think it's an experiment for Johnson to play defense after unsuccessfully recruiting him last season.

"I love Stafon Johnson. I thought he could play on either side of the ball," Willingham said. "I didn't see any high school player on the West Coast hit as hard as him last season."
Anyone who has seen Johnson's highlight reel knows he was a man among boys on both sides of the ball in high school. But who cares what Tyrone thinks? Unless, that is, you want to lay the seeds for a transfer controversy. Johnson took one of his three official recruiting visits to U-Dub before signing with USC, and Tyrone recruited him hard last year. Perhaps, seeing an opportunity, Tyrone hasn’t given up.

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems at least a little odd that Willingham would agree to have himself quoted directly, rather than insisting that Wolf take the coach-from-a-Pac-10-team-said approach.

Whatever. If Pete Carroll and his staff can keep Whitney Lewis around for three years, I’m sure Johnson will be fine, tears and all.

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