USC’s Jalen Greene using first spring to get on target

True freshman Jalen Greene has worked closely with USC offensive coordinator and QB coach Clay Helton to improve his accuracy this spring, and so far coach Steve Sarkisian is impressed.

Kirby Lee

LOS ANGELES — Jalen Greene didn’t need much persuading when USC came knocking.

"They didn’t really have to sell much," the USC true freshman quarterback said.

Greene, an early enrollee, was a longtime Boise State commit. He took extra classes during the fall so that he could graduate from Serra High School early and join head coach Chris Petersen and company on the blue turf for spring ball.

Once Petersen took the Washington job, Greene flipped his commitment to the Huskies. Then USC entered the equation and Greene soon became a Trojan.

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"I was with (Petersen’s staff) my whole (senior) year so it was hard telling them that I’m not coming anymore," said Greene who personally called Petersen to let him know he would no longer be joining him in the Pacific Northwest.

So far, he is happy with his decision.

The USC coaching staff appears to be happy as well.

Earlier this week, head coach Steve Sarkisian announced Cody Kessler will be the starting quarterback, but took the time to say Greene would be a "great" player at the university.

In his short time on the field, Greene, who’s been working on his throwing mechanics, can already see growth.

"I’m more accurate than I was when I first started," Greene said. "Less balls (are) flying all over the place."

Greene has worked closely with USC offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Clay Helton with making sure his body aligns with his target.

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"He has such a powerful arm and usually when you have a powerful arm if you just lean just a hair to the left that ball’s going to tend to go to the right a little bit," Helton said. "He’s trying to get everything going straight lined to his target. (He’s) doing a really nice job of working that."

Helton has also been pleased with how quickly Greene has grasped the offense.

The freshman says he’s learned a lot watching the quarterbacks in front him — Kessler and Max Browne. These days he’s also taking his mental reps more serious than he did in high school. Not taking as many reps on the field as Kessler and Browne, he realized early the significance of those mental reps.

"I didn’t have to do that much back when I was the guy at Serra," said Greene, who was a three-year starter and won a state championship in high school.