USC fans are finally just a month away from seeing the Trojans take the field and the court.
With the Pac-12 announcing an all-conference football season beginning Nov. 7 and the NCAA deciding basketball games will start Nov. 25, Trojans fans can indulge in Cardinal and Gold sports for the first time since March.
The overlap between the seasons presents a new challenge for sophomore Drake London, however. London, is a wide receiver for the football team and guard for the basketball team. He’ll have to adjust his training routine to prepare for both seasons simultaneously.
But London is confident in his ability to adapt to the closeness of the seasons.
“With all that’s going on with COVID, it’s pushed football season back pretty far,” London said. “I will be coming to basketball much later so it’s a little bit different from last year. I was able to transition a little bit easier [last year]. This year you’re going to be more difficult. But I’m up for the challenge.”
London said having a year of experience in both sports will certainly help with this transition. Having already played a season on each team, he has a new comfort in his abilities to perform at a high level both physically and metnally.
London is ready to have his cleats laced for battle come the Trojans football opener against Arizona State. He said his primary focus right now is the football season.
“I’ve been talking to the basketball team a little bit,” London said. “But I’m more so worried about this [football season] and trying to go to the Pac-12 championship.”
Offensive coordinator Graham Harrell spoke in a press conference Oct. 13 about the “vital” role London will have on the football team this year after having a stellar freshman campaign. London posted 39 catches for 567 yards and five touchdowns in his freshman football season.
“I think that he creates a matchup problem for people,” Harrell said. “If you put someone small on him, he can manhandle them. And if you put someone big on him, he’s too athletic. I think if you look down his last three or four games of the season last year, Drake may have had as many yards as anyone, and did a lot of great things for us.”
Despite football serving as his primary focus, London is still “getting his reps in” on the court, he said.
When the football season ends, London expects to be out on the court quickly. He plans to go straight into basketball and work with team trainers to “tone down” his physique so he can swiftly transition.
The ability for London to shift gears from football to basketball is a testament to the amount of work and attention he’s put in during the football season’s postponement due to COVID-19.
“Just making sure my body is right,” London said. “Working out when we were in quarantine, drinking lots of water for soft tissue injuries. And [the trainers and coaches] have done good making sure that I’ve been able to acclimate myself properly.”
Trojans fans will be seeing a lot of London come November and can expect him to be a difference maker on the field and on the court. The dual athlete now sports more confidence and more experience and will be hard to guard for any opponent.