Written by Dave Dulberg, USC blog contributor
Wednesday's two-hour morning session on Howard Jones and Brian Kennedy Fields came and went with little fanfare, as Lane Kiffin's squad gears up for tonight's full-pads practice under the lights at 6 p.m...
- Two notable appearances this morning: WRs Brice Butler (knee) and Robert Woods (ankle) were back between the white lines. Butler participated full speed during receiving drills, while Woods spent most of his time working on strength and conditioning drills on the practice field's Muscle Beach. Kiffin said based on the way Woods prepares, he isn't too worried about lost practice time for the sophomore.
- LB Chris Galippo said he re-injured his right shoulder last night, and that he's been told it's a sprain of the AC joint. While Kiffin said he is concerned about the possibility of the Trojans starting freshman Lamar Dawson and redshirt freshmen Dion Bailey and Hayes Pullard at the three LB positions, he anticipates Galippo will be back on the field by USC's next preseason game.
- Although the MRI on his surgically repaired right knee came back negative yesterday, RB D.J. Morgan was held of out practice once again due to soreness. WR Marqise Lee was also absent due to a family emergency. LT Matt Kalil was also a no-show due to a knee injury.
- The star of practice was arguably defensive line coach Ed Orgeron. Although an 8:45 a.m. start time made for a rather quiet morning, Orgeron let loose on defensive linemen Kevin Greene and George Uko early and often for their sluggish play.
- Let's hope PK Andre Heidari prefers night practices. On Wednesday morning his accuracy left much to be desired as he missed four attempts from 35, 46 (twice) and 49 yards.
- After two early drops, freshman WR George Farmer found his groove as practice wore on with fellow freshman, QB Cody Kessler.
- Kiffin on whether this year's offense will be an explosive unit: "We don't really know yet. We are still trying to find someone to fill the X position, but if they don't, we will start [Brandon] Carswell and Robert [Woods] and go from there. Those two guys are really similar, so we'd like to have someone else step up to have a different element in our gameplan."
- Someone who has stepped up in a big way at the FB position is redshirt senior Rhett Ellison (pictured above). "Rhett Ellison has had an unbelievable camp from special teams to fullback to tight end, to receiver, everything," said Kiffin. "I couldn't be more pleased with him and he's probably been the best story of camp so far with what he's done and where he is from a year ago, his value to the team and his leadership. He's just awesome."
- Ellison on adjusting from TE to FB: "I am still trying to figure stuff out. Every practice it's about repetition after repetition, just getting use to it. I'm not comfortable at fullback yet, especially with the run blocking schemes. But I will play wherever they want me. That's their call."