Fall Camp #3: Notes

| No Comments

First day of shoulder pads was dominated by the defense...

  • The injury list is growing although nothing seems particularly serious.  DT Christian Tupou was sidelined mid-session by an issue with his surgically repaired knee.  Lane Kiffin does not know the severity of the problem, but he thinks it's typical soreness from three straight days.
  • OL Giovanni Di Poalo (shoulder), OL Cody Temple (back) and CB Torin Harris (concussion test) missed some or all of practice.
  • Freshman J.R. Tavai left with a hamstring injury.  He is listed on the roster as a defensive tackle, but he's been working in with the linebacker group and wears a typical linebacker number (#58).
  • No-Distractions.JPGIn special teams work, freshmen George Farmer, Amir Carlisle and Marqise Lee are starting to get reps with the returners.
  • On the kicking side, the competitions at placekicker and punter are not going to be easily won by the freshmen.  PK Andre Heidari needs to work on his conditioning after gaining weight this summer before he holds off walk-on Craig McMahon.  At punter, Kris Albarado is getting a stern test from redshirt junior transfer Kyle Negrete who consistently outdistanced him today.
  • Play of the day: LB Shane Horton made a tremendous stretching interception in the red zone.  The redshirt senior is one of many players who appears to finally be healthy after he battled a hip issue all last year.
  • Kiffin mentioned CB Nickell Robey and DT George Uko as other defensive standouts.  DB Jawanza Starling had some big hits despite the no tackling rule.  The offense could not move the ball with any kind of consistency throughout the session, which does not trouble Kiffin.  "If we're going to be great here, we've got to play great defense," the head coach said.
  • The running back group has only gotten more cluttered since the start of camp with the emergence of freshman Amir Carlisle.  All four backs are similarly sized without Marc Tyler in the mix, so someone will need to prove that he can earn the hard yards.  "'Moody' is a hard runner and our new little freshman Amir is running pretty hard and I think I can do pretty good in goal line this year," said Dillon Baxter.
  • Baxter has drawn compliments from the coaches and staff about his improved attitude after a trying freshman season.  "I was just tired of being on ESPN for bad stuff," Baxter said about his disciplinary transformation.  "Football is coming good right now, so I think things are turning around a little bit."
  • While Curtis "Moody" McNeal is the smallest of the bunch, he excelled in pass blocking drills, which will help shake his diminutive stereotype.  The running backs will get their first real test on Monday when they can start breaking tackles.
  • As you can see in the picture, "No Distractions" has been painted as the first message the players receive upon entering the practice field.
  • Here is the head coach after a marathon matinee...

Leave a comment