There was not much time for
Jason to celebrate after helping the Trojans seal the national title after
thumping Oklahoma. Having already graduated, he grabbed his pads
upon arrival back at campus and headed north to take part in the all important
East-West Shrine Game.
All week long Jason will be
checking in from practice at San Francisco Community College, letting us know
how the events unfold. But before that we asked him to give us a little perspective
on his life; what he did as a youth, why he chose USC and what was his college
experience like. He gave us great introspective on his football life up
I started playing football in
the eight grade but only after my mom finally gave in to the idea . Before
football I played soccer since the age of four; it was fun but I got to the
point where I needed to tackle someone and not get a penalty for it! The other
sports I played in high school were baseball and track. My football coach also
gave me the idea of wrestling so I joined the team my last two years of high
I went to USC because it was
the team I always dreamed of playing for. My defensive backs coach in high
school also played for the Trojans which weighed heavily in my decision.
The only other school I considered was Oregon. And though it is a great school
which really impressed me on a recruiting trip, my heart was set on SC.
My playing experience at SC
has been great. I red-shirted as a true freshman to concentrate on school and
worked hard in the weight room. As a red-shirt freshman I mostly played on
special teams but got in a few games when starter Deshaun Hill needed a breather.
We went to the Las Vegas Bowl that year
but did not have a good showing.
My third year at USC found me
still on special teams and backing up both Deshaun Hill and Troy Polamalu . This
was the season to take advantage of playing time. I started four games after
Troy got hurt against Washington State. The biggest game that year was the Orange
Bowl against Iowa when I had three tackles, one interception and a fumble
My red-shirt junior season I
was the starting strong safety and we won a share of the national championship
after defeating Michigan in the Rose Bowl.
I can easily say this final
year at USC is the best team that I have ever been on. Just a week ago we won
the Nation Championship after an undefeated season. In two years as the starting
Trojan safety our team has only lost one game, and that was to Cal in 2003.
I've played and practiced
against a lot of tough players during my college career. I
would have to say the Troy Polamalu and Matt Grootegoed are the toughest players
in practice. The best opponent I ever faced was Dallas Clark from Iowa,
now with the Colts. The moment that really matters and will always be stuck in
my mind is winning the National Championship.
My first impression of the
East/West game is that it is a first class event. We were all picked up
from the airport, taken to the hotel and fed of course! Then we had to take test
for different teams and talk a little with scouts.
It is great getting to know
not only the guys on my team but also players on the East team. My roommate is
another safety, Aaron Francisco of BYU who we played this past year. We
already had our first team meeting with my "new" head coach, Mike Riley of Oregon State.