June 18, 2007

Rivers Getting Ready

It's been nearly six months since their resounding victory over Michigan in the Rose Bowl, and many of the University of Southern California football players are voluntarily shaking off the cobwebs.

For senior outside linebacker Keith Rivers, summer 7-on-7 practices are an opportunity to get his mind, body and leadership skills in shape for fall camp.

"It just keeps you in the motion over the long summer," Rivers, who has seemingly been listed at 6-foot-3, 225-pounds for four years, but now looks significantly larger, said. "We've had a long time off. So it's an opportunity to see the routes, and that makes you more effective."

Along with his own personal growth, Rivers has taken a page from the 'Terrell Thomas Guide to Effective Player-Coaches' and tried to be a positive influence on some of the younger linebackers.

"I've been here for four years, so I've matured and advanced and so I try to be that leader on the field," he said. "(Redshirt freshman Joshua) Tatum's been out for a while so he's a little behind. I'm trying to get him up to speed because he plays my position, so I think I can coach him and get him ready to play and up to the standards of our group."

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