The Trojans will do conditioning tomorrow and then have the weekend off.
- The "Muscle Beach" crowd (aka the rehab area) is getting bigger, but the injured players are looking better. Dillon Baxter is walking without a noticeable limp, while Malcolm Smith really pushed himself today working with trainer Chris Grosskopf. Smith was standing on one leg catching wayward football tosses during practice as part of his rehab.
- Keary Colbert's playlist skewed a little older today. Some Michael Jackson, some James Brown and even some songs that had USC staff members breaking out their air guitars.
- Robert Woods is the guy to watch now at practice. He takes every rep at full speed. He makes balletic catches on the sideline and samba moves on the outside. The Trojans have a lot of good players, but Woods is the one who makes you stop and stare.
- Woods has not practiced at defense all week, but he was ready last Saturday. "The coaches did not make the call to put me in, but on third down I was standing right by them," Woods said. He is not sure if the experiment is over or not, but he's happy to play any role.
- As Lane Kiffin said today, there are only about 10-15 examples of freshman contributing at Woods' level around the country this season, but the rookie phenom is not surprised by his instant impact. "Not really, I am just working hard and the coaches put you in situations and they train you to make it easy, so it is not a problem," said the Serra product.
- When you rocket to stardom at USC, the nation pays attention, so get ready for a slew of stories on the next great Trojan receiver. "When you play hard, that is what happens. As long as I keep working and stay humble, it won't turn into anything," Woods said.
- In our live chat yesterday, T.J. McDonald talked about how cool it was to see his name in a video game for the first time. Woods was happy to make SportsCenter. "I noticed that I made 'Top 10' plays and I had friends texting, 'I see you making the catch,' so it's pretty exciting, especially being on ESPN."
- As we mentioned earlier this week, some coaches have been on the recruiting trail nationally all week. Others, including Lane Kiffin, will pepper California schools this weekend. "Competition" won Woods' signature. "This is SC, you've got to come here and compete. Every position is not locked up and if you come work hard, you can get that spot. If you really want it, you can come in and play."
- Lane Kiffin is focusing on replenishing the ranks on the offensive line and at linebacker. "Unless they start letting us enter 7-on-7 tournaments, we better find some linemen," answered Kiffin about his focus for this class. "You start looking at our spring, we could have trouble even lining up and running a play."
- Kiffin tried Christian Thomas at fullback today. The freshman has been moved from tight end to defensive end back to tight end and now into the backfield because of his athleticism. However at 6'3", he is a little tall to play fullback, but the Trojans do not have a scholarship fullback after Stanley Havili.
- Unless Kiffin can find a solution at the fullback spot for next season, he is considering adopting the spread offense to fit his personnel. "Look at what we have, we've got a bunch of really good receivers and backs and tight ends," Kiffin explained. "We'll have to make the best of whatever we are dealt."
- Hear Kiffin discuss recruiting and the spread offense below...