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January 7, 2003SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The Men of Troy got a few new toys this weekend when both LenDale White and Reggie Bush announced their commitments to USC at the U.S. Army All-America Bowl.
So how was USC able to pull off a big coup like this?
Simple - it told the truth.
"The coaches didn't try to lie about how many running backs they wanted and the guys they were going after," White, who is a four star running back, said. "They said they already had a kid from California committed and they wanted both Reggie and I to complete the class."
And that's exactly what happened.
Bush is the nation's top back and displayed his ability on Sunday with 66 yards rushing, despite playing with a thick cast on his injured left hand.
White played well in limited rushing attempts and they look like they should be a perfect compliment to each other at USC.
"We're two different runners," White said. "I'm not going to go out there and dance around like Reggie is. And he's not going to like to pound it out like I do."
But the obvious question is will there be enough footballs to go around in Los Angeles?
"We both put our pants on the same way," White said. "I know that I'm going to go in there and work my butt off and so will Reggie. I'm not going to give him anything and he's not going to give me anything.
"We're going to go out there and compete hard and then let the coaches decide on who they need to put on the field."
ZBIKOWSKI THE CORNER
Many recruiting fans have labeled Illinois athlete Tommy Zbikowski as the nation's top dual-threat quarterback - mainly based upon his weekly diaries on ESPN.com.
But on Sunday, Zbikowski didn't play quarterback and was lined up at several positions in the defensive backfield. This includes cornerback, in which he was found a few times lined up in man-to-man coverage against Steve Smith.
Smith is rated as one of the nation's best, but Zbikowski hung with him and made one impressive break up on a pass that was thrown up for a jump ball situation.
Zbikowski, however, did look a little thin and a little smaller physically than earlier observations. But there is no questioning his athletic ability and his speed.
BOWMAN THE BOMB
Chattanooga (Tenn.) Notre Dame receiver Adarius Bowman was the talk all week from the East squad and he didn't disappoint under bright lights on Sunday night.
Bowman was tall, physical and fast - making him a great target and a great get for UNC. Look for him to move up the rankings this month.
ADAMS IMPRESSES MUNOZ
NFL Hall of Fame offensive lineman Anthony Munoz was on the sidelines Sunday and he came away impressed with Jasper, Texas, offensive tackle Jorrie Adams.
"You guys have him ranked No. 1, right," Munoz said. "He's really good. He has a great body and some long arms that allow him to get good leverage on the defender. I'm impressed.
"You guys better keep him up there. He's really good."
While being introduced before the game all of the Texas recruits - like defensive back Tarel Brown and receiver Limas Sweed - ran out on the field and flashed the Hook'Em sign. The Texas commitments doing that got a good reaction from the crowd, including the numerous fans decked out in burnt orange.
But then came the Sooner recruits. When linebacker Lewis Baker and safety Tony Cade were introduced they flashed the Hook'Em sign pointing downward.
"We were told that it's a tradition," Cade said. "They've got theirs and we've got ours."
Instead of flashing a big thumbs up for the Texas A&M Aggies when he was introduced, Baytown (Texas) Lee quarterback Drew Tate displayed the Houston Cougar hand signal.
Tate made a commitment to the Aggies last year and has stuck with the commitment through the coaching changes in College Station. However, as of late he's been talking about Iowa and Houston and if his display on Sunday means anything then we might know where Tate might end up.
TIDE TRYING TO GET BACK IN IT?
You'd think that with new Alabama coach Mike Price bringing in a new high-octane passing attack to Tuscaloosa that it might catch the eye of receiver Jayson Swain.
But the Tennessee commitment said he's not wavering in his decision.
"There are just too many questions still at Alabama," Swain said. "You have the questions about the sanctions and how long they're going to be in trouble. I don't have those questions at Tennessee."
DEFECTIONS SHOCK CLARK
While he was at camp practicing for Sunday's game, Smithson Valley, Texas, offensive lineman Corey Clark hadn't had time to keep up with the latest coaching news.
So when he was asked what he thought about the defections of Jon Embree and Eric Bieniemy to UCLA, Clark was shocked.
"I was recruited by either," Clark said. "Coach (John) Wristen recruited me, but coach Bieniemy called me a few times and we talked about how great Colorado is when I was up there for my visit.
"I'm shocked. Who would want to leave Colorado? And why would they leave CU for UCLA? That just shocks me."
But it won't cause him to make any kind of change in his decision. In fact, Clark was seen all week wearing a Colorado hat.
"I tried to do a little recruiting, but I'm not really that way," he said. "I just talked to a few guys like Carnell (Stewart) that took trips up there."
When quarterback Chris Leak announced his decision to commit to Florida a few players on the East sideline turned to receiver Andre Caldwell and told him to run over there and join him on TV.
"Naw, naw," Caldwell said. "Not yet. I ain't saying anything yet."