Fall Camp #1: Notes

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The first practice of 2011 is in the books...

  • The health news was almost all positive as camp begins.  Freshman OL Cody Temple (back) was the only player fully sidelined.  Eight players suffered from cramps during the session.
  • DL Armond Armstead reported, "I do not have a heart condition."  He missed spring practice, while undergoing tests, but he expects to return by the season opener.
  • Markeith Ambles was not at practice, so he could concentrate on finishing the summer school session strong.  Incoming freshmen "Buck" Allen and Junior Pomee are still tending to summer high school classes.
  • In general, Lane Kiffin was extremely positive after practice.  He credited the strength staff with improving the entire roster physically.  "What I saw today, we looked different than a year ago," Kiffin said.  "I know it's day one, but we challenged them physically and mentally."
  • The offensive line is the position group that most needs sorting out.  On day one, the veterans were getting the majority of the first team reps.  RT Kevin Graf, RG Jeremy Galten and LG John Martinez joined stalwarts Khaled Holmes and Matt Kalil with the first group.
  • Behind center, the back-up quarterback competition still appears wide open.  All three candidates (Jesse Scroggins, Cody Kessler and Max Wittek) struggled with accuracy.  Of course, it is only day one.
  • A healthy Drew McAllister is a welcome sight.  The redshirt junior has been held back by hip injuries during his time at Troy, but when healthy, he displays tremendous instincts from the deep safety spot.  He had one of many interceptions tonight.
  • On the freshman front, WR Marqise Lee was productive during the team portion.  Physically, you cannot help but be awed at times by WR George Farmer and OL Aundrey Walker.
  • The fullback group is much deeper than the spring when Soma Vainuku was the only real option.  TE Rhett Ellison worked in with that unit alongside freshman Charles Burks and walk-on Hunter Simmons.
  • Funniest play of the day: Chris Galippo made a diving deflection of a Barkley pass that caromed to Shane Horton for an interception.  After an extended delayed reaction, Galippo bounced up screaming, "I tipped it!"   He then took off for the end zone to celebrate with Horton.
  • Barkley and Robert Woods hooked up on a gorgeous 40-yard rainbow for a TD.  Brandon Carswell also caught a bomb to draw "oohs" from a larger-than-usual crowd of media and family.
  • Christian Tupou is the most noticeable difference from last year.  From the team stretch to the final horns, he provides an infectious spirit and energy, which was lacking at times last season.  "You can't play this game without emotions," said the senior leader.  "That's just me and I guess that's what my teammates feed off of."
  • His voice is particularly important to the young freshmen who were experiencing their first USC practice tonight.  "We're constantly on them and helping them.  We're just trying to be that older brother to them.  We're trying to make it easy for them because it's the first day and they are just trying to tread water."
  • Former head coach John Robinson attended practice.  Here's the current head coach taking questions...

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Some guys finishing high school courses still? You can bet those guys will have problems staying eligible at SC

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