Junior defensive tackle Jurrell Casey has come a long way since his days as a scout-teamer and backup nose guard during the 2008 season.
First of all, he's switched positions. He's now responsible for playing under tackle -- also called the three-technique -- after spending his first year and a half playing on the nose.
Secondly, he's a lot more, well, dynamic. According to Casey himself, his first-class first step is brand new for this fall. Even at a short, squatty 6-foot-1, 305 pounds, Casey has the option of jetting by or overpowering many offensive linemen.
And, thirdly, the 20-year-old Casey is more mature. With that maturity has come an increasing sense of teamwork with his fellow defensive linemates, and, although Casey is the star of the bunch, he clearly supports his mates' success.
Ask him about DaJohn Harris or Hebron Fangupo and compliments are free-flowing. Ask him about the variety of ends the Trojans will need to use this season and he says, "Everyone on our front four is a great pass rusher."
In shot, Casey's just a standout defensive tackle for USC. And the school needs him to be.
Here's a full video interview with Casey, taken after Monday's morning practice: