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It's official: Thearon Collier now at USC (but UM got Seantrel) -- & Sunday practice update

It's Susan Miller Degnan, about to head for Sunday's practice, but before I do..

After a long time waiting for the official stamp of approval, former UM receiver Thearon Collier is now officially a USC Trojan.

USC coach Lane Kiffin talked about it after his team's scrimmage Saturday, at which Collier was present (not playing, obviously). Collier will have to sit out a year, per NCAA rules, but he can practice with the scout team.

At UM, Collier would have been a junior. His two-year career numbers: 44 catches for 574 yards and three touchdowns. On punt returns, Collier had 20 returns for 193 yards and two touchdowns.

And who could forget that beautiful 29-yard catch he made on third down in UM's game-winning drive at Wake Forest last season.

I personally liked Thearon a lot, and I think he has tons of talent. I know he had a lot of personal stuff to deal with. His baby boy died during birth not that long ago. His father died while his mom was pregnant with him. Apparently he was not doing the right things in terms of class attendance, etc., according to some UM sources, but I hope he does well at USC. 

"He's been through a lot, had a very tough life so far," Kiffin said, according to espn.com. "I'm glad we can give him an opportunity. Talking to a number of people, I think it's very clear this is something that's good for him, to get away from home and have a fresh start."

As for UM's acquisition from USC.... 6-8, 330-pound Seantrel Henderson (No. 1 recruit in nation)... Let's suffice it to say that UM fans got a really big catch!!

BACK FROM SUNDAY PRACTICE: Today's walk-through was totally closed, but a few notes:

* Randy Shannon said tomorrow's scrimmage will be a lot of first-teamers against first-teamers. Some of them have been held back in the other two scrimmages, to see what the younger players could do.

* RB Graig Cooper and LB Jordan Futch will not play in Monday's scrimmage.

* RT Joel Figueroa missed practice again with an undisclosed injury. Shannon said one of the reasons he's holding him out is that he wants to make sure he's OK for the season. Joel has had shoulder problems in the past. Jermaine Johnson has taken his place in practice.

* Shannon said his players won't be practicing at Sun Life Stadium because the infield dirt is too hard on their bodies and he doesn't want anyone getting infections from the dirt and sand. That has to make you cringe a little, knowing what's in store for them. I've talked to players before about it, and it's not a pleasant experience getting those abrasions caused by the hard surface.

* JoJo Nicolas has not been practicing, though Shannon wouldn't elaborate.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN


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