Center stage

Sophomore Max Tuerk has started at guard and tackle for USC. Now he's learning to play center. Cal Sport Media via AP Images

LOS ANGELES -- It was the initial surprise of spring practice when the USC Trojans coaching staff decided to start sophomore-to-be Max Tuerk at center, a position he had never played in his life.

So while spring vacation allowed most of Tuerk's teammates a chance to bolt to the various hotspots in Southern California, or simply return home to be with family and friends, Tuerk had other ideas, and it wasn't surfing, hiking or partying in Palm Springs.