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USC’s sack leader over last two years declares for NFL

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For the fourth time this year, USC’s 2018 roster has taken a significant hit.

On his personal Twitter account Saturday night, Rasheem Green announced that “[a]fter a lot of careful thought and discussions with my family, trusted friends, and the USC coaching staff,” he has decided to forego his senior season and make himself available for the April NFL draft.

Green was named first-team All-Pac-12 following the 2017 season.  The 6-5, 280-pound defensive lineman led the Trojans in sacks each of the past two seasons — six in 2016 and 10 this past year.

In addition to Green, wide receiver Deontay Burnett (HERE), quarterback Sam Darnold (HERE) and running back Ronald Jones (HERE) have all announced they were leaving USC early for the NFL.

Iman Marshall to return to USC in 2018 feeling there is more to accomplish

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The defending Pac-12 champion USC Trojans may be losing a handful of key players to the NFL this spring, but one key defensive player will be back for the 2018 season. On Friday, USC announced Iman Marshall will return to the Trojans for the 2018 season.

“I came to USC three years ago with big expectations for myself and for this university,” Marshall said on his Twitter account. “Want to help bring this University back to the top and feel we got a lot more left to accomplish, time to go and get it!”

USC is coming off a Pac-12 championship but fell flat in the Cotton Bowl against Big Ten champion Ohio State this past season. USC defeated Big Ten champion Penn State in the Rose Bowl the previous season.

The cornerback played in 11 games and recorded 51 tackles for the Trojans this season. Though he did not record a single interception this past season, he had three in the 2016 season and three more in the 2015 season. With Marshall set to return to the football field in the 2018 season, USC will have an anchor in place in the secondary to rely on with the potential to come up with a big play.

USC losing RBs coach to the Kansas City Chiefs

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It looks as if the NFL has pilfered yet another college football assistant coach.

Thursday evening, reports surfaced that USC running backs coach Deland McCullough was being interviewed for the same position with the Kansas City Chiefs.  Later on that night, McCullough confirmed to 247Sports.com’s USC website via text message that he has accepted an offer to join the Chiefs.

McCullough further explained the reasoning behind his decision in a text message to USCfootball.com.

“It was a very hard decision,” McCullough told the website. “But working for my former Bengals teammate Eric Bienemy, a great guy like Andy Reid and a family-based organization like the Chiefs made it a no-brainer.”

McCullough spent one season with Trojans, having been hired in March of last year.  He stated that the football program “fought hard and stepped up big time to keep me” before he decided to leave.

With McCullough’s departure, Clay Helton now has three openings on his coaching staff.

Bear Bryant Award is fifth major coaching honor claimed by Scott Frost

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Scott Frost might need a bigger trophy case.

Tuesday night, Frost was named as the AFCA FBS Coach of the Year.  That was the fourth piece of major coaching hardware claimed by Frost this year, joining the Eddie Robinson AwardAssociated Press and Home Depot Coach of the Year honors.

One day later, Frost made it five as he was the recipient of the prestigious Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year award.  Frost beat out six other finalists for the award named in honor of the Alabama legend — Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst, USC’s Clay Helton, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, Army’s Jeff Monken, Georgia’s Kirby Smart and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney.

The Bear Bryant Award has been handed out annually since 1986.  Swinney had claimed the trophy each of the past two seasons before Frost prevented a three-peat with his stunning turnaround at Central Florida.

Taking over a team that went 0-12 in 2015, Frost coached UCF to a 6-7 record last season.  This season, Frost led the Knights sitting to a perfect 13-0 that included winning the football program’s second outright AAC championship and beating Auburn after earning the Group of Five’s New Year’s Six bowl bid.  It was the first perfect season in school history.

The Knights finished No. 6 in the final Associated Press poll, the highest finish for a Group of Five team since Boise State was ranked fourth in 2009.  They also claimed four first-place votes, preventing Alabama from being a unanimous selection.

Not long after Frost won the AAC title, it was confirmed that he would be the next head coach at his alma mater Nebraska.

Raiders interviewed Tee Martin to help comply with Rooney Rule

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Tee Martin couldn’t garner much traction for a job at his alma mater Tennessee, but he has played a technical role in an NFL coaching hire.

Tuesday afternoon, Jon Gruden, long the apple of Rocky Top’s eye and the object of Vol Nation’s ofttimes unhealthy desire, was officially introduced as the new head coach of the soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders. The Grumors connecting the Monday Night Football analyst to the job stretched back to late last year and was all but official last week, although the NFL club still had to satisfy the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate for a head coach opening before officially filling the position.

As it turns out, there was a collegiate connection to the Raiders’ compliance with the rule.

The 39-year-old Martin, who was on Oakland’s roster for one season in 2003 and appeared in two games for the Raiders, has been an assistant at USC since 2012, serving as the Trojans’ offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach the past two seasons. Given the fact that he was the starting quarterback on UT’s last national championship team and his head coach, Phil Fulmer, was named athletic director in the midst of a coaching search, it was thought that Martin would be a candidate for the job; instead, he never formally interviewed for a job that ultimately went to Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.