February 2017 (1) Candygrams

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017---USC Football Recruiting Dinner

The Galen Center lobby was buzzing with excitement! Why not! Coach Clay Helton and his staff had just garnered a tremendous 2017 football recruiting class.

Trojan Candy walked around the lobby looking first of all for USC Spring football recruits who were already enrolled at USC. I saw several friends in the process.

Scott Jacobson and Patti Poon
Good friend Associate Athletic Director Scott Jacobson posed with my sister Patti Poon.
Dann Moss, Lynn Swann, and Beverly and John Robinson
Trojan Candy was able to take a picture of Dann Moss, Lynn Swann, and Beverly and John Robinson.
Kajsa (Olsson) Ziskin, Alex Rios, and Haley Nakata
Friend Alex Rios (8/16/2012) smiled at me with a big smile. I walked over to him and he gave me a big hug. Alex is the USC Football Director of Recruiting. He and his staff helped to put together our 2017 Recruiting Class! Standing with him was friend and Rowing alumna Kajsa (Olsson) Ziskin (10/18/2010) and his girlfriend Haley Nakata.
Ron Orr and Kenechi Udeze
Trojan Candy walked to the check-in desk, still looking for any football recruits, when I took this picture of good friend Senior Associate Athletic Director Ron Orr and Defensive Line Coach Kenechi Udeze.
Keary Colbert, Eric Torres, and Kenechi Udeze
Coaches Keary Colbert and Kenechi Udeze smiled with their former teammate Eric Torres.

Damon JohnsonJust while I was standing near the check-in desk, Scott Jacobson met with two USC football recruits who had just walked in and who are already enrolled in the Spring 2017 semester. Quickly, I introduced myself to one of the recruits. Damon Johnson, a five-star long snapper, posed for this picture and let me interview him. Damon, who is from Glendale, is majoring in Communication. His favorite food is steak. Damon's favorite movie is "The Blind Side." He likes to snowboard for fun. Damon told me that he has already met all of the other recruits. Trojan Candy wished that she could meet each of the recruits and interview them! FIGHT ON, Damon!

Jack SearsI quickly went over to the second USC football recruit. Scott was nice enough to tap him on the shoulder for me. Even more quickly, I introduced myself, took his picture and interviewed him. Quarterback Jack Sears posed for me. He is from San Clemente and is majoring in Business. Jack's favorite food is Mexican food. Trojan Candy teased him and told him, "You won't get Mexican food tonight. There will be prime rib." I saw a hint of a smile. Jack told me that his favorite movie is "Remember the Titans" and that he likes to play any sport for fun. Thank goodness Jack wants to play the sport of football at USC! FIGHT ON, Jack!

Five Spring recruits were supposed to come to the Recruiting Dinner tonight, but three of them had class. Trojan Candy hopes that I can eventually meet and interview Marion Tuipulotu, Taylor Katoa, and Andrew Vorhess.

Louis Wong, Beverly and John Robinson, and Mary Jo Wong
After interviewing Jack, I moved on to take pictures of more friends. Friends Louis and Mary Jo Wong were with Beverly and John Robinson.
Dudley Poon, Bill Bau, and Patti Poon
My brother-in-law Dudley Poon, friend Bill Bau, and Patti Poon conversed and then smiled for me.
Bob Padgett
Right after I took their picture, we heard the Spirit of Troy marching in. As I rushed out of the lobby to take pictures of the Spirit of Troy and get in the buffet line, Trojan Candy took a picture of friend and former USC Trustee Bob Padgett.

Clay and HeltonJust as Trojan Candy almost reached the buffet table, I saw Coach Clay Helton with his wife Angela. He always poses for a picture for me. I'm sure Coach Helton remembers the first conversation that we had after he was named interim coach. During the first Monday Morning Quarterback meeting that he attended as interim coach, he told the audience that, "He was a teacher first." Being a retired teacher myself, I was the first one to approach him at the end of that MMQ. My exact words to him were, "I am a teacher myself, and when you said that you '...were a teacher first...,' right then I wanted you to be our head coach!" FIGHT ON, Coach Helton!

USC cupcakeAfter getting my dinner, Trojan Candy took this picture of the fancy dessert.

Then the program began. Coach Helton announced our twenty-three football recruits one by one. Each new Trojan was shown on a big screen and Coach Helton showed some of the play highlights of each recruit. Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of the first recruit, so my husband Jim scanned his picture in the Recruiting book that each attendee received. Here are our twenty-three new Trojans!

Marlon Tuipulotu
Defensive Lineman Marlon Tuipulotu
Jay Tufele
Defensive Lineman Jay Tufele
Brandon Pili
Defensive Lineman Brandon Pili
Jacob Lichtenstein
Defensive Lineman Jacob Lichtenstein
Hunter Echols
Linebacker Hunter Echols
Tayler Katoa
Linebacker Tayler Katoa
Levi Jones
Linebacker Levi Jones
Juliano Falaniko
Linebacker Juliano Falaniko
Je'Quari Godfrey
Defensive Back Je'Quari Godfrey
Greg Johnson
Athlete Greg Johnson
Bubba Bolden
Defensive Back Bubba Bolden
Isaiah Pola-Mao
Defensive Back Isaiah Pola-Mao
Damon Johnson
Long Snapper Damon Johnson
Andrew Vorhees
Offensive Lineman Andrew Vorhees
Austin Jackson
Offensive Lineman Austin Jackson
Alijah Vera-Tucker
Offensive Lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker
Brett Neilon
Offensive Lineman Brett Neilon
Jack Sears
Quarterback Jack Sears
Stephen Carr
Running Back Stephen Carr
Erik Krommenhoek
Tight End Erik Krommenhoek
Josh Falo
Tight End Josh Falo
Randal Grimes
Wide Receiver Randal Grimes
Joseph Lewis IV
Wide Receiver Joseph Lewis IV
Jack Sears
After all of the recruits were introduced, Jack Sears came to the stage to speak to the audience.

John Jackson and Ryan AbrahamThen, the program ended with the Spirit of Troy playing "Conquest."

FIGHT ON, new USC Football Recruits!

As Trojan Candy was walking to the garage, I saw good friend John Jackson. He had just finished his weekly "Trojans Live" podcast program at the Lab Gastropub. John then posed with his program guest Ryan Abraham, Publisher/Owner of USCFootball.com.

What an exhilarating evening!