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June 20, 2007For redshirt freshman David Ausberry, his first full off-season with the Trojans might prove to be more fruitful than for the seasoned veteran Keith Rivers.
"I think being out here the whole summer will help to keep my mind fresh and get a head start with the quarterbacks to build that relationship," Ausberry said. "I see myself as 100% better than last year because I know what the defense is going to be throwing at me, it's my second time around so that's a huge benefit."
Ausberry has a vast array of help at his hands this summer.
"On the defensive side it's Terrell Thomas who is helping me out the most," Ausberry said to the stunning surprise of no one. "He's been around the longest, and he knows what I should be looking for to give me the advantage and do what I need to do.
"All the quarterbacks and also Patrick Turner, who is our vet receiver as a junior, they're all giving me little things here and there to get the best looks."
When the looks do come, Ausberry said that he hopes to make the most of those opportunities.
"I want to catch every ball thrown my way," said the 6-foot-4, 215-pound freshman. "I want to just get out and contribute, and just do what I'm capable of doing, nothing too spectacular."
Along with summer practices with his teammates, Ausberry is going to additional training sessions to improve his hands and concentration.
"We have tennis balls hit at us that we've got to try to catch," said Ausberry, who not only looks like former USC wide-out Mike Williams on the field, but apparently trains like him too. "Then there's the pitching machine which throws balls at us at about 50 miles-per-hour and we stand about 15 yards from it.
"It really helps, but it seems like it's coming at a million miles-an-hour, so it helps with my concentration. You don't want to know how bad it hurts."
Catching balls from the pitching machine isn't the only time that Ausberry's hands are in harm's way. "(All the quarterbacks) throw hard, but I would say Sanchez throws the hardest," said Ausberry, who is staying busy with summer school and working as a cashier at the California Science Center.
"I mean, you have to wear gloves with him."
For the inside scoop on what is going on during summer workouts including live updates, make sure you read The Peristyle!
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Stay tuned to USCFootball.com for photos, videos and interviews from all of the offseason summer workouts.