Fall Camp #9: Notes

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The physicality of practice is starting to take its toll.

  • We could do an entire post on the injury list.  Robert Woods and T.J. McDonald were two big name additions with ankle issues, but Lane Kiffin did not seem overly concerned.
  • You can watch the presser below for the full list.  Of note, QB Jesse Scroggins had surgery on the thumb of his throwing hand.  A timetable for his return has not been set.
  • LB Dion Bailey limped out to practice on crutches with a foot injury. 
  • DT Christian Tupou missed practice due to his surgically repaired left knee.  The coaches and trainers are going to protect him as he continues to work his way back to full strength.
  • Marqise-Jump-McG.JPGThe lengthy injury list is an obvious result of tackling in practice.  At this time last year, Kiffin stopped tackling due to concerns about depth.  This year, he plans to push through with as many healthy guys as he can.  "We're seeing the price for doing what we're doing," the head coach said.  "We'll deal with it."
  • Markeith Ambles practiced for the first time during camp.  The highly-touted wide receiver wore a jersey without a number and took reps at defensive back.  "We wanted to see him move around in the DB drills today," Kiffin said about Ambles who awaits word on his academic eligibility.  They had been holding him out, so he could concentrate on school.
  • One player's injury is another player's opportunity.  Freshman LB Lamar Dawson is getting all of Chris Galippo's reps.  Freshman LB Tre Madden moved up on the depth chart with Bailey sidelined. 
  • And, freshman Marqise Lee (photo by John McGillen from Monday) made a real impression at wide receiver.  Lee spent his high school year's in the shadow of Robert Woods and George Farmer, but he is literally jumping out in camp.  He made the play of the day, which ended practice, by leaping high into the air on a sideline fade route and plucking the ball away from CB Isiah Wiley.
  • Like everyone else, Kiffin is impressed.  "He just naturally does things, which is why he's such a gifted athlete," he said about Lee.  "I think he's untapped on how good he can be."
  • Lee reminds Kiffin of Damian Williams. 
  • Brice Butler was on crutches last night, but chucked them today and went right back into the mix at full speed.  "I don't know if that would've happened a year ago," said Kiffin.
  • Butler did not disagree.  "A year ago, I would've been like, 'I'm not practicing,'" he admitted.  "I can't be nervous about my ankle.  I've just got to go out there and play."
  • Butler is competing with Kyle Prater to fulfill the big receiver role.  He has outplayed the redshirt freshman in camp to this point, but he is still working to make an impression on his head coach.  "I don't have that decision to make, but I can put something out on tape," Butler said about playing time.
  • Kiffin has always admired Butler's preparation, but he urged the receiver to be more physical this summer.  "There were some things on the field that I wasn't doing and me and coach Kiffin talked about it," he recounted.  "My whole mindset has been about being tough."
  • Practice is at 3 p.m. Friday.  Here is Kiffin on a windy day...

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