After one season where he was adjusting to the speed of the college game, USC linebacker T.J. Brunson enters 2017 confident he can be an impact player at middle linebacker.

Brunson saw action in 11 games in 2016 as a true freshman. But as he in the midst of his second preseason at USC, his comfort level is light years ahead of where he was this time last year.

"I expect a really good year. I expect a lot from myself," Brunson said.

"I'm excited. I've ready to play. I've been ready to play since the end of last season, since the bowl game."

Brunson is the Richland Northeast product who has the distinction of being the first player Will Muschamp visited the day of his introductory news conference. Not long after Muschamp had taken part in his final photo-op, he was at RNE checking on Brunson who was at the time a nod to Louisville. But Muschamp was able to flip Brunson.

"The more that I think about it, it's definitely a big deal," Brunson said.

"Being the first guy that he came and visited. It's nice. It's nice to know that you meant that much to a program and to someone else."