Spring spotlight: USC cornerback Jimmy Legree

April 6, 2012 

Jimmy Legree is back at cornerback this spring after playing safety in 2011.

Legree had a solid spring last year (two interceptions in the spring game) and strong fall camp. He entered last season as the starting free safety alongside strong safety D.J. Swearinger.

He started the first two games before USC moved DeVonte Holloman back to safety from spur. Legree played mostly on special teams late in 2011, making eight tackles.

Legree and Victor Hampton are USC's first-team corners this spring with Akeem Auguste still recovering from a foot injury. Legree and Hampton are both getting reps at the field and boundary corner spots.

Legree had an interception in Saturday's scrimmage.

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Class: Redshirt junior

Hometown: Beaufort, S.C.

High school: Beaufort High

Height, Weight: 6-0, 189

Position: cornerback

Jersey number: 15

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Q&A with Jimmy Legree

You had a strong spring last year. Do you feel like this spring is going as well?

I'm working on it, trying to get it as best as I can. I feel pretty good about this spring.

What do you like about playing cornerback?

At corner, I feel like I can shut down the main receiver. I like to compete. I like to be on my own little island over there. Talking wise, communication, that's what you have to do at safety. I like to talk but I wouldn't talk too much, I guess. I like to be in my own little world, just me and the receiver.

How has Akeem Auguste helped you as he's been injured?

He's a motivator, telling everybody to get their head right. If you make a bad play, shake it off, worry about the next play, encouraging people to do better.

What did you learn from Stephon Gilmore and C.C. Whitlock last year?

Technique. I watched them every play, how they read routes and how their footwork is.

Does the team have one guy you consider a shutdown corner?

All the cornerbacks we have got great skills, ball skills as well as lockdown skills. We feel comforatble about everyone in the secondary.

How does Lorenzo Ward's enthusiasm translate to the players?

He's got more energy. It's all fun. You've got to have fun out there on defenese. Seeing him having fun relaxes us. When we're relaxed, we play better.

Is the defense more aggressive under Ward?

Yes, definitely. We are way more aggressive than we've been in the past. It helps us stay on our toes and get ready for everything, anticipating routes and everything.

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