Football stuff on top, baseball report on the bottom...
- TE Christian Thomas was the newest name on the injury list. He had x-rays on his foot, which came back negative, which is of course positive. He sat out with soreness.
- However, tight end is the rare unit on the squad that can afford to take a loss with four quality players. Given the depth, Rhett Ellison has been taking reps at fullback, where true freshman Soma Vainuku is the only other option. "It's something we'll probably do a lot of in the fall, especially if these younger tight ends continue to develop," said Kiffin.
- Ellison is the classic hard hat, lunch pail type of player, who is willing to do whatever it takes to help the team. "It's always good just to be in there," he said. "It's a little more space and more to read. Your triangle is just bigger than a tight ends."
- The depth at tight end could possibly lead to more two tight end formations, especially given the fragile state of the offensive line, which Kiffin called "the number one question by far on our team."
- With the obvious exception of LT Matt Kalil, the head coach does not see any potential starters from the group that has taken all the reps this spring. "They're just a long ways away from the whole package," he said. "Some guys are not developed enough. Some guys are not playing fast enough because they are new to it."
- Khaled Holmes and Kevin Graf are mostly sitting out this spring, but they'll likely grab starting roles on the line, which leaves two open spots to be potentially filled by the incoming freshmen. "We're going to give them all a chance," Kiffin said about the class of 2011.
- The class of 2010 continues to impress. While DT George Uko and QB Jesse Scroggins drew more praise, LB Hayes Pullard is the rising star of the day. "Hayes is doing really well," said Kiffin. "He didn't flash that much to us last year, but he's had a really good offseason. He looks really good out there."
- The two highlights of the day were delivered to no one's surprise by RB Curtis McNeal and WR Robert Woods. McNeal met T.J. McDonald in the hole and shook him so badly that the defensive back ended up on the ground. And on the final play of the morning, Woods one-handed a TD to ring in the three horns.
- Now on to the important stuff...BASEBALL! The Trojans took batting practice as a team, which we'll give you a video sampling of in the next "Project Trojan."
- To no one's surprise, McDonald and Jawanza Starling, the two players with the best baseball backgrounds, hit the only two homeruns. However, the baseball coaches were most impressed with Drew McAllister's swing. Matt Barkley and Zack Kusnir also looked like they knew what they were doing in the batter's box.
- As for the coaches, Joe Barry drew the greatest accolades. Sammy Knight and Justin Mesa were solid. The rest get points for trying given the amount of ridicule being dished out by the attentive spectators.
- It was a great team bonding exercise, but I'm pretty sure Ricky Oropesa's spot is safe.
- Here's Lane Kiffin on all the football action...