BEING ON the sidelines at a USC football game is nothing new for Ben Malcolmson. As a sportswriter for the school's student paper, the Daily Trojan, Malcolmson routinely paced the sidelines. If all goes well this week, he'll get even closer to the action--in a Trojans uniform. Last spring Malcolmson went to an open tryout, intending to write a story, and ended up making the team as a wide receiver. He promptly dislocated his shoulder in a blocking drill, and after five months of rehab he returned to practice last week. "We've got 100 players," says Malcolmson (above). "I'm Number 100." Because the team can take only 64 players on the road, he doesn't travel. As for getting into a game, he says, "Hopefully we blow out a team at home soon."
He graduated in May with a degree in print journalism, but making the team put his career on hold. "I'd probably be a journalist in a podunk town in the middle of nowhere," says Malcolmson. Now, though, he's enrolled in a one-year communication management master's program. And while he always assumed he'd end up a writer, he's no longer sure where he sees himself next year. "I have no idea," says Malcolmson. "This football thing has taught me to take things one day at a time."