USC quarterback Mark Sanchez has passed for more than 1,500 yards in six starts this season and has 19 touchdown passes with six interceptions.
So maybe it should not come as a surprise that his father and older brother met with a former NFL executive Monday night who advises college football players on subjects such as agent recruitment and pro-scouting evaluations.
Joe Mendes, a friend of USC coach Pete Carroll and former vice president for football operations for the Washington Redskins, is paid by USC to advise underclassmen about the NFL.
"We make him available as a resource," Carroll said.
"He advises universities on the NFL and the business aspects that come to the front as you get eligible for the NFL draft."
"He'll give you everything. He's a research librarian on how guys make it and don't make it. It's so guys have someone to ask if they hesitant to ask the coaches a question. I've known him for 35 years."
Mendes, who is based in Virginia, also consults for other universities.
Mark Sanchez said he was unaware of the details of the meeting, which was set up by his father and brother.
"I haven't talked to them about it yet," he said Tuesday.
"They just told me they were meeting with him."
Sanchez said he intends to return to USC for his senior year.
Home sweet home: USC center Kris O'Dowd lives five minutes from Arizona Stadium in Tucson and said he will have about 100 friends at Saturday's game against the Wildcats.
"I'll recognize a lot of people on the other side, but it's a business trip," O'Dowd said.
Arizona was one of O'Dowd's final three choices before he chose USC. But he said he still has a fondness for his hometown team.
"I'm a Trojan now, but I definitely root for them silently," O'Dowd said.
Fighting for spots: Offensive tackle Butch Lewis (virus) and offensive guard Zack Heberer (turf toe) practiced but each lost their starting spots to Nick Howell and Alex Parsons, at least temporarily.
"It's obvious they know (what happened)," Carroll said.
"They're serious about it. It's hard on guys knowing someone is nipping at their heels, but it makes them better."
Heberer said he is 95 percent recovered. Carroll confirmed previous comments by offensive line coach Pat Ruel that Tyron Smith is pushing starting tackle Charles Brown.
"Tyron's closer than he's been," Carroll said.
McKnight update: Tailback Joe McKnight was held out of most of Tuesday's practice as he slowly comes back from a case of turf toe.
"I'm moving faster," McKnight said.
"I'm going to play this Saturday."
Sick bay: Fullback Stanley Havili sprained his ankle against Washington State and is being brought along slowly.
Tailback Marc Tyler (pulled thigh muscle) will miss this week's game and hopes to return next week.
Wide receiver Vidal Hazelton practiced but will see a doctor this morning to officially be cleared.
Tight end Blake Ayles said doctors now think he injured his groin. His injury was previously diagnosed as a sports hernia and hip flexor. The injury has not sidelined him, however.