The numbers continue to dwindle, but opportunities abound for the healthy bodies.
- LB Dion Bailey came out to practice with his arm in a sling after injuring his forearm last Saturday, according to head coach Lane Kiffin. WR Robert Woods also missed practice to go along with the usual suspects that have been sidelined this spring.
- RB D.J. Morgan returned to action and continued to spark the offense, while Curtis "Moody" McNeal drew praise from Kiffin. Along with Dillon Baxter, they are the only three healthy scholarship running backs.
- The depth at receiver is even worse. With Woods down, Brandon Carswell ("the dark horse" of camp said Kiffin), Markeith Ambles and De'Von Flournoy (got banged up today as well) are the only scholarship players. On the positive side, new receivers coach Rod Gilmore should make them better. He did a great job drilling in the fundamentals during blocking drills today.
- Walk-on Cody Gifford is built like an athlete at 6'4", 205 pounds. I do not know how much game he has, but he definitely looks the part.
- The linebackers have been collecting interceptions in numbers this spring. Will Andrew has at least one pick in every practice, while Dallas Kelley made the play of the day scooping a deflected Matt Barkley pass with one-hand before it hit the turf. Hayes Pullard also took one the other way.
- During the team portion, Lane Kiffin screamed, "Practice is live!" The insertion of tackling always raises the energy level and intensity. The defensive sideline exploded when Tony "Red Dread" Burnett made a sure open-field tackle on Morgan.
- Again, the defensive line disrupted most of the scrimmage session by penetrating through the "A gap." Redshirt freshman DT George Uko is trying to make an impression now that Jurrell Casey has moved to the NFL. "I was the person playing behind him, so I know it's my time to step up and contribute on this team," Uko said.
- Of course, when he makes a mistake playing for Ed Orgeron, the entire practice field (and sometimes campus) can hear Coach O taking him to task. Uko knows he needs to have a thick skin. "He'll try to get to you," the 300-pounder said. "He's just trying to make me better. His job is to get the best out of everyone."
- The most bizarre moment of practice came early when stray pitbulls found their way onto the practice field during defensive line drills. I'm sure Coach O wants his guys to play with a pitbull mentality, but the intrusion was not planned.
- Here is Lane Kiffin on the day's practice...