Walking the uneven path

LOS ANGELES -- If you're in attendance at Saturday afternoon's USC spring game at the Coliseum, you might want to pay close attention to redshirt freshman Soma Vainuku, the 6-foot-1, 250-pound beast of a running fullback.

It has been quite a journey for Vainuku to get to being the Trojans' apparent starting fullback for 2012. Originally signing with the Trojans in 2010 and planning to enroll at USC after graduating a semester early from Eureka (Calif.) High School, Vainuku returned to Eureka after being denied admission.

He eventually gained admission to Troy in the spring of 2011 and resumed his Trojans football career by redshirting last season. It has been a learning process for Vainuku, but there was never any doubt he could run the football. As a senior at Eureka, he rushed for 2,202 yards, averaging 8.7 yards per carry, with 38 touchdowns as his high school team won the 2009 CIF-North Coast Division ll title.