“Woo! We back!”
Those were the words of USC fullback Stanley Havili, shouted at the top of lungs that had to be gasping for oxygen.
Havili said them in the midst of a series of 40-yard sprints he and his teammates ran at the end of their first supervised summer workout earlier this week. Havili’s enthusiasm was a sign that he appreciates every opportunity to be on the field with his fellow Trojans after missing the Rose Bowl because of academics.
We talked about that and other topics, including Havili’s excitement about Jeremy Bates‘ play-calling and the junior fullback’s desire to grow out his hair (which seems to be a theme in these Q&As, eh?).
Question: It doesn’t seem like a lot of fun out here, yet you seem to be having a blast. What’s up with that?
Havili: It’s been a long break. We’ve been off this workout plan for weeks. I think all the players are ready to get back at it. I’m excited.
Q: What are the differences you detected with Jeremy Bates and John Morton in charge of the offense?
Havili: Coach Bates is not scared to call plays. Him and Johnny Mo are not scared to go deep. They’re not scared to take chances. I think the offense responds to that.
Q: What about the role of the fullback? Has that changed it all?
Havili: Hopefully it expands. Hopefully, me, D.J (Shoemate) and Adam (Goodman) can come out here and show our athletic ability and have Coach Carroll, Coach Bates and Coach Mo evaluate us and see if they can get us out more.
Q: Was it a rewarding feeling to be able to participate in spring after missing the Rose Bowl?
Havili: Oh yeah. Definitely. It was a humbling experience. It’s always good to come out here and be with the team after I let them down.
Q: What did happen? How’d you get in trouble?
Havili: I just got caught up. I just took it for granted. And it bit me in the butt.
Q: Was it hard to watch the Rose Bowl?
Havili: Yes, definitely. It was a terrible experience. But it was a good learning experience for me.
Q: How’s Aaron Corp doing in this new leadership role that he has?
Havili: I think he’s doing really good, and I think a lot of guys are responding to his leadership. There’s no leader like Mark (Sanchez) – Mark was a very vocal leader. Corp is one of those guys, he uses few words. He doesn’t talk that much. He just comes out and shows with his athletic ability, and everybody follows him.
Q: You were wearing a white headband earlier (above). What do you have going on up there now?
Havili: It’s a skull cap. I ripped off the top. I’m growing my hair out.
Q: Oh, no. Not another one. Really?
Havili: I’m letting it grow out. I’ve never really grown it out.
Q: So is it going to be Rey Maualuga-length or what?
Havili: I don’t know. We’ll see what my mom does. Hopefully she doesn’t make me cut it. Growing up, in high school, she never let me grow my hair out past eyebrow-length. So we’ll see.