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July 29, 2009

Telfort's career cut short

One of the most promising members of USC's 2009 recruiting class will never take the field for the Trojans.

Linebacker Frankie Telfort will not play football for USC because of a heart condition. The condition was discovered while at USC.

"This is obviously very difficult news for Frankie, his family and all of us in the football program," USC head coach Pete Carroll said in a statement. "But we're very thankful doctors discovered the issue before it led to anything worse."

This summer at USC, Telfort has participated with his teammates in conditioning drills and throwing sessions. However, after the July 17th workout, Telfort has been either absent or watching drills from the sidelines.

Telfort, a four-star prospect from Miami Gulliver Prep, looked like an instant contributor because of his smarts. Telfort planned to major in pre-med at USC.

After losing four linebackers to the NFL last year, the Trojans brought in a strong class at the position - Telfort, Jarvis Jones, Kevin Greene and Marquis Simmons.

USC linebacker Michael Morgan has enjoyed working with all the young linebackers, and he was impressed with Telfort's intellect and composure.

"Frankie's the most laid back. He's like a grown man already," Morgan said. "I was watching him in the weight room, and he's so strong already. He walks around confidently with his head up. He's shown up a lot out here when we do drills.

"He's got good footwork and everything. I think he'll be the one who picks up the defense fastest out of all of them."

Prior to arriving on campus, Telfort told USCFootball.com he had plans on stepping in right away once he got on campus.

"I'm not too worried about redshirting because there's always special teams," Telfort said. "They have said that I have way too much speed to stay on the bench. Hopefully I pick up everything as fast as I can and make the most of my chance.

"I want to get on the field and contribute to the team."

Telfort was expected to compete for playing time at weakside linebacker.

A number of college football players have died on the field in recent years for a variety of reasons. Telfort is expected to remain at USC on scholarship.

"Everybody's football career unfortunately ends at some point and no one's ever ready for it," Carroll said. "For some guys, it comes sooner than expected. But you're a football player and a Trojan for life, and Frankie is definitely both."

Telfort will remain on scholarship at USC.

USCFootball.com publisher Ryan Abraham contributed to this report.


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