February 18, 2009

Corp becoming more assertive

Rain had pounded the turf on Howard Jones Field, and standing water guarded the entrance.

Still, it didn't stop USC quarterback Aaron Corp from getting in some extra throws with a few of his teammates.

It wasn't the traditional workout, with plenty of Trojans running routes against cornerbacks, safeties and linebackers. Regardless, Corp's presence sent a message about his mindset headed into spring football.

Corp said he knows the time is now for him to step up and assert himself as a leader/

"I'm feeling it a little more," he said. "It's kind of natural since I've been playing this position. I think that it's coming gradually, and the main thing for me is to keep showing the guys through my actions.

"Guys need to know that they can trust me."

That trust is earned over time. Corp's entering his third season on campus, and he said it's getting easier to open up on the field and direct traffic.

"When you're a true freshman, you're just naturally intimidated. That quiets you down," he said. "Obviously, the more you play, the more comfortable you get and the easier it gets to speak."

Corp said he's been making the most strides this offseason working against the defense is seven-on-seven drills.

"It adds a lot when the defense is out here," he said. "You actually have to think when you drop back and throw. It's tougher than when you're just throwing against air. It's good to get those guys out there."

The workouts will lay a nice base until Corp gets to work with USC's new quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates. Corp said he's spent some time with the Trojans' newest coach.

"I've met with Coach Bates a good amount already. I'm excited about him," Corp said. "He's a cool dude. He's a down-to-earth guy. Getting to know him and being able to keep building off that will be cool."

The two have spent time breaking down Corp's film, and Bates has given Corp some drills to work. Still, Corp is excited to actually get on the field and work with his new coach.

"It's kind of hard to gauge footwork and your throwing motion until you get out on the field and see it when you're behind center and reading defenses," he said.

While the two haven't known each other that long, Corp said he's already begun to notice some differences between Bates and Steve Sarkisian - the man Bates replaced.

"I wouldn't say they're a whole lot a like - personality wise," Corp said. "As far as their football minds, they're both cutting edge. Coach Bates just seems like he's just a normal guy who knows his football."

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