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Camp Notes: Day 4

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Written by Stephanie Graves, USCTrojans.com Blog Contributor

 

  • Today's 2.5-hour practice featured only shoulder pads and helmets again underneath a cloudless sky and picture perfect Los Angeles day.
  • The sidelines were a little more crowded today as the weekend allowed for some of the immediate families of the local players to come and watch for the first time this fall. Among them were the parents of cornerback Daniel Harper, offensive tackle Nathan Guertler, offensive guard/tackle Kevin Graf, wide receiver Robbie Boyer and quarterback Matt Barkley.
  • New injury update: Tight end Blake Ayles was out today nursing a tweaked hamstring, wide receiver Kyle Prater (hip) was allowed limited practice time today.
  • T.J. Bryant watched practice on the sidelines after having cheekbone surgery to repair damage done after last week's altercation with Stanley Havili. Havili also returned to practice today, but was limited due to a sore hamstring. The two addressed the media after practice, assuring everyone that they had forgiven each other immediately after the incident last week. They also felt that the team had forgiven both of them as well for their actions and noted the love and camaraderie showed by their teammates during this situation. 
  • The emphasis on special teams continued today. One punt return drill featured all newcomers: Dillon Baxter, Robert Woods and Markeith Ambles.
  • Speaking of special teams, the equipment managers keep a large toy golf club around for use by Coach John Baxter. Apparently, he uses it as an innovative teaching tool for the kickers.  
  • Barkley is showing signs of a seasoned veteran more and more as time goes on. Not only is he the loudest of all the quarterbacks, he is often found talking to new running backs and wide receivers giving them advice when necessary. He also showed off his new-found speed and agility when he scrambled for yardage not once, but twice during team drills.
  • Barkley nailed wide receiver Brice Butler twice today for spectacular long balls and hit Woods for one of the most beautiful passes of the day (straight over the linemen's heads). Later he found Boyer, his cousin, to give everyone on the sideline a taste of what Mater Dei fans used to see week after week.
  • Speaking of quarterbacks, with the "Armada of Arms" at seven, each station can now have at least one gold jersey with them at all times during practice.
  • During extra point drills, Joe Houston and Jacob Harfman faced off. To the defense's credit, there were several blocked kicks. Kiffin said it is too early to tell which kicker will earn a spot at the top of the depth chart.




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