USC's Martin takes advantage of film school - OCRegister

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LOS ANGELES – In recent days USC freshman guard Marcus Martin has been joined by Trojan tackle Matt Kalil and center Khaled Holmes for some extra post-practice film sessions.

Normally the freshman would be expected to bring popcorn or some other snack, but then again Martin is on a diet.

Thanks to his extra-work in the film and weight rooms, not to mention his diet, Martin is expected to start at left guard against Syracuse Saturday night at the Coliseum.

"It's really hard to start as a freshman at the next level and he's doing it this week. And I think he's prepared and I think he'll have a great game," Kalil, a former Servite standout, said.

If the true freshman out of Crenshaw does indeed get the nod, he will be the first Trojan freshman to start at guard since 2004.

"I've adjusted to the (offensive system)," Martin said after practice Thursday. "I've lost weight so everything is starting to make a lot more sense to me on the football field."

Said Kalil, "Still young, still making some mistakes but he's made tremendous progress since camp 'til today."

Martin's weight loss has been his most obvious transformation this fall. He has dropped 28 pounds from his 6-foot-3 frame, weighing in at 324 pounds this week.

"Coaches, strength and conditioning, just working hard, busting my butt trying to be the best player I can be and eating right," Martin said.

But Martin has also made the adjustment from right to left guard, a switch that has been aided by plenty of tutoring of the practice field and in the film room from Kalil and Holmes.

"Just learning the system all over again from a left hand perspective," Martin said. "I've given up a lot just to be a better player and I'm willing to do that because as long I'm improving I have no problem giving up things.

"Khalid Holmes and Matt Kalil have really been a big influence on me. They've actually been staying after practice with me, watching film, teaching me different types of techniques as well as just showing me the bigger picture of not just knowing my assignment but knowing everybody's assignments. So those two vets are really helping me out."

But Martin also knows he'll be on his own Saturday.

"At the end of the day it just comes down to passion, heart and my will," Martin said. "And doing my assignment."


Trojan coach Lane Kiffin said he expects to meet with end Armond Armstead and his family to discuss his status in the next few days. Martin was admitted to USC University Hospital last March for undisclosed medical tests and has not been cleared to play. Armstead started in 11 games in 2010. …Offensive guard Martin Coleman (shoulder) and linebacker Marquis Simmons (neck) missed practice Thursday.

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16 Sep, 2011

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