10 things to know about USC LB Hayes Pullard
Former USC safety T.J. McDonald took linebacker Hayes Pullard under his wing and groomed him in the school of leadership.
With McDonald now in the NFL, it's Pullard's time to put those lessons into play as the new leader of USC's defense. Pullard hopes to convey the lessons learned from McDonald, as well as groom others in the role to take over once his days as a Trojan are done.
USC opens camp on Saturday.
Here's 10 things you may not know about Pullard.
Beware of pit bulls
In his younger days, Pullard was knows as the "Manchild." Today, the "Manchild" has turned into the "Pit Bull," which he's been called since he got to USC.
On the pitch
Pullard loved soccer as a kid and it was his favorite sport growing up. He was a midfielder, but once he got to high school, his days on the pitch were done.
"(It was) too much running," Pullard said. "I was getting too skinny when I got back to football season."
Favorite place to play
Like many of his teammates, Pullard lists Notre Dame Stadium as his favorite place to play outside of the Coliseum. In their last trip to the South Bend in 2011, Pullard's redshirt freshman season, USC came away with a 31-17 victory. The Trojans will return there on Oct. 19.
Growing up, Pullard was an avid roller skater. Like many Angelenos, he frequented the World on Wheels skating rink in Mid-town. When the famed skating rink closed its doors for good in late June, Pullard admitted he was "kind of" sad.
For Pullard, there's nothing better than an old fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
The Lake Show
Pullard has always been a huge supporter of the Purple and Gold, and No. 24 Kobe Bryant. Any discussions related to his favorite team is simple:
"Lakers all the way," he said.
Come across Pullard's music library and you'll likely find whatever you need or are looking for at the time. His musical taste covers just about all walks of life.
"(I have a) variety of everything," Pullard said. "Hip hop, rap, techno, everything."
Pullard lists the 2004 Brad Pitt film "Troy" as his favorite. A close second is the action film "300."
During his days as a linebacker and fullback at Crenshaw High School, Pullard sported No. 32. Once he got to USC, he wanted to wear No. 10 because of former USC great and current athletic director, Pat Haden.
"I was asking Coach (Lane) Kiffin for No. 10," he said. "I must've been walking around in Heritage (Hall) and saw that (Haden) was No. 10. I asked him if it was OK and that's actually how I got No. 10."
Pullard has a terrible fear of heights. Does that mean he doesn't ride roller coasters?
"I'll do it but I don't like it," Pullard said. "I wouldn't do it on a regular (basis)."