HAWAII GROWN: Iosefa to start for USC

Jordan Iosefa (4), a former Saint Louis standout, will be starting for USC on Saturday in the Trojans' season opener against Western Michigan. Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Former Saint Louis standout Jordan Iosefa will start at middle linebacker for USC in its season opener against Western Michigan on Saturday, according to an Associated Press story.

The sophomore will be starting in place of junior Cam Smith, who was called for targeting and ejected in a 52-49 win over Penn State in the 2017 Rose Bowl. The ejection also means Smith will have to sit out the season opener.

“I feel like we’re going to make it work,” said John Houston Jr., who is another first-time Trojans starter at linebacker along with Iosefa. “Me and Jordan are going to represent well, and when Cam comes back we’re going to do good as well. (Jordan’s) a real defensive mind, knows his stuff in and out. That’s the good aspect of having him as the Mike, just knowing the defense from the back of his hand.”

Iosefa told the AP that he believes he’s ready.

“If you watch me practice, I practice with that dog mentality,” Iosefa said. “If I just transition it well, and just be humble and be in control, then I’ll be just fine.”

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