Camp Practice 10: Notes

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The night practices continue to bring out the highest level of intensity.

  • 14 scholarship players did not practice tonight because of injury. 
  • To redshirt or not to redshirt is a fascinating debate that we'll monitor all season.  On the one hand, the Trojans lack depth at several positions, so they may need the young guys as cover.  On the other side, the scholarship reductions are only going to make depth more of a concern over the next few years, so it would be helpful to get five years out of as many freshmen as possible.
  • Besides Nick Perry, Butch Lewis and Drew McAllister have the most serious injuries.  They are both struggling with hip and groin pain and met with a specialist.  According to Kiffin, Lewis will get an injection and hopefully be back next week.  McAllister's timetable is less certain and he could potentially need surgery at the end of the season.
  • Christian Thomas has moved from tight end to defensive end at least for the time being.  Kiffin says that tight end is their deepest position group, so they have the luxury of trying Thomas on the d-line.
  • Freshman DT George Uko is another guy who could see action as a reserve or be a candidate to redshirt.  "The guys that will be hardest to tell are the freshmen and redshirt freshmen who have not played in a lot of games.  We're not going to put them in a lot of game like situations as far as tackling.  Those are going to be the guys that we're going to have to take some chances on."
  • The coaches continue to be high on freshman CB Nickell Robey.  Kiffin recounted a story that Robey posted a 40 inch vertical and a 4.4 40 time at 7:00 am when he was a verbal commit to Tennessee.  He's listed at only 5'8", but he looks like Torin Harris's top competition for the #2 corner spot.
  • I spent most of practice watching one-on-one battles between the offensive and defensive lines.  OT Tyron Smith and DE Armond Armstead were the best head-to-head match-up.  Both players will make a lot of money someday playing this game.  Armstead took the first round and Smith adjusted to win the second.
  • In the same drill, Jurrell Casey was too much for any guard to handle.  When asked about Mel Kiper's endorsement as the best USC pro prospect and possibly the best defensive tackle in the nation, Casey responded, "I'm just going day-by-day.  I don't know what the word is out there, but it's good to hear."
  • Casey took Kiffin's comparison to Mike Patterson as a compliment even though it meant conceding that he's "short and squatty."  Casey prefers to say that he has "good gravity."  That's my new favorite euphemism. 
  • Throughout the line drill, Coach O was preaching, "More violence, more violence."  Like Kiffin said earlier today, it is against their nature to ask the kids to back off on hitting in practice.
  • Click here for tonight's photo gallery by Farren Benjamin.
  • Here's the coach and his media court...

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