Williams Is Trying to Sharpen Steele’s Game

USC CB Chris Steele sets lofty goals for junior season

Steele wants to be a unanimous selection as a first-team All-American corner and considered a high draft prospect

Chris Steele reacts after USC miraculously beats ASU in the Coliseum last November.

Adam Grosbard (OC Register)  —  USC cornerback Chris Steele is entering a pivotal year in his college football career. As a junior, he will have the opportunity to leave for the NFL draft following the 2021 season if he likes where he is projected to be selected.

Accordingly, he has established two goals for this season: To be a unanimous selection as a first-team All-American corner, and to be considered a high draft prospect following the campaign.

To reach these goals, he’s focused on two areas for improvement that at their most basic descriptions feel contradictory: To use his hands more and to use his hands less.

The former is easy enough to explain. Steele feels if there’s one deficiency in his game tape, it’s in plays on the ball. He has nine pass breakups in his two seasons at USC, starting in 12 of the 18 games he’s played.

But he has only one interception to his name in college. Steele wants to add at least five to that total this coming season.

“I think I’ve always had like a kind of a bad rep of not making plays on the ball, just having a lot of pass breakups,” Steele said in a press conference Thursday.

As for using his hands less, Steele is also aware he got flagged several times last season for defensive holding or pass interference. His tight, physical style of coverage frequently drew the attention of officials, as did any frustration he expressed in the middle of game-long battles with receivers.

USC cornerbacks coach Donte Williams is working with Steele on the mental aspect of the game during spring camp. Williams preaches to his players that the game is 90% mental and 10% physical, but says Steele can get caught playing 50-50 at times.

“So it’s my job to make sure the game is calmed down and slowed down for them and they’re playing with a level head,” Williams explained, “playing technically first and physically second.”

It’s still a work in process. During a practice last week, Steele got tangled up with a receiver and held onto the teammate’s face mask until they were separated.

But at the next practice, it was Steele who finished the day with an interception of Kedon Slovis on a pass intended for Drake London in the end zone during goal-line work.

“It felt amazing,” Steele said. “The energy at practice was crazy and I just look forward to making a lot of plays like that this year to help this team win games.”

ocregister.com

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John Weld
Admin
Diamond Member
John Weld (@johnnynumbers)
April 16, 2021 7:02 pm

Coaching Assignments for tomorrow’s spring game are as follows:

Team Cardinal: Graham Harrell will be the Head Coach, Seth Doege will be the offensive coordinator, Craig Naviar will be the Defensive Coordinator, Vic So’oto and Clay McGuire will fill out the staff.

Team Gold: Todd Orlando will be the Head Coach, Mike Jinks will be the offensive coordinator, Donte Williams will be the Defensive Coordinator, Sean Snyder and Keary Colbert will complete the staff.

The game will air on the Pac-12 Network at 1:00pm.

So what will Clay Helton be doing……………

Golden Trojan
Diamond Member
Golden Trojan (@golden-trojan)
April 16, 2021 9:05 pm
Reply to  John Weld

Hopefully staying out of the way!

John Weld
Admin
Diamond Member
John Weld (@johnnynumbers)
April 16, 2021 7:05 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Isaiah White announced on his Instagram account on Friday that he plans to take the NCAA up on its offer of an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic and play another year for USC.

Steveg
Mt Rushmore
Steveg (@steveg)
April 16, 2021 6:42 am

No doubt Steele needs work, he was approaching getting the nickname “grabby” from his predecessor. Like AJ, I see Steele relying on pure athleticism in his play. It worked for him in high school, but now he faces similar athleticism and it is time to develop a genuine skill set.

TrojanRJJ
Diamond Member
TrojanRJJ (@trojanrjj)
April 16, 2021 7:43 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

All other things being equal, Saban is correct. But, this major change will be paired with another major change – the NILs. I am now convinced that NILs will have a significant impact on collegiate football. The reason that USB BB was given a “minor” penalty is that every team was paying its BB players. There are ways to “play the game” and SC is learning how to do that. Your point that Mike Garrett refusing to “play the game” was a major contributing factor to the extraordinarily unfair (and candidly civilly illegal) penalties placed on SC football. Using BB… Read more »

Golden Trojan
Diamond Member
Golden Trojan (@golden-trojan)
April 16, 2021 8:06 am
Reply to  TrojanRJJ

The immediate transfer rule combined with NILs will be like 3 dimension chess. Recruiting busts will leave the top programs to get play time, guys who gel in a lesser program will leave for a better team, the “star” players will want to go to large market cities for more financial opportunities. 18-19 year old kids will have to make yearly decisions. Can I make more money but not get noticed by the NFL or do I give up some money to get NFL ready? Is being one of many stars on Alabama better than being the big fish at… Read more »

Trojan5
Knighted Member
Trojan5 (@trojan5)
April 16, 2021 12:52 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

In theory I support the idea that players should be able to transfer & play without having to sit out a year. But it is unclear how it will play out in practice. Already there are more kids in the portal than there are available scholarships. I worry that some of them will be left without a degree and limited options. If I am not mistaken Gaotette (forgive the spelling) hasn’t received a new scholarship. He didn’t live up to his HS rating and as a result his future is uncertain. Most of these kids are not going to play… Read more »

Trojan5
Knighted Member
Trojan5 (@trojan5)
April 16, 2021 2:05 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I think every program will save a couple, 2?, 3?, 4? scholarships each year for transfers. AL, CL, OSU will take only the top of the top to fill a specfic need. As the portal gets used more and more there will be less scholarships available for HS kids. It is going to be wild for the next few years as NIL & and liberalized transfer rules are implemented.