August 16, 2007

USC follows redshirt road, to wizard of Aus

David Ausberry had to be someone else to find himself.

The redshirt freshman wide receiver does not remember which player he had been asked to imitate, or precisely when he had been asked to do it - just that the breakthrough progression came during the first three or four weeks of the 2006 season.

Ausberry could not play in games, so he would role-play in practice. He worked with the scout team, simulating the offense of USC's opponent.

When the season started, everything was still coming at him too fast - playbooks, coaches, competition. He did not know when he would catch up.

Then, in one workout against the Trojans' starting defense, and its No. 1 Pacific-10 ranking, Ausberry leaped over a cornerback to catch a pass. Then, he grabbed a ball between a pair of defenders. The next snap, he beat double-coverage for another reception.

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