Spring Practice #5: Notes

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A shorter practice today as the Trojans prepare for Saturday's Coliseum scrimmage...

  • Injury report: LB Marquis Simmons (limited), C Khaled Holmes (out), QB Jesse Scroggins (limited), RB Buck Allen (out), WR George Farmer (out), TE Xavier Grimble (out), LB Dion Bailey (limited) and TE Junior Pomee (out).
  • TE Randall Telfer limped out of practice with yet another hamstring injury to a skill position player, which leaves the Trojans devoid of any scholarship tight ends.
  • Orgeron-Nose-Bloddy.JPGIn case Coach Orgeron was not intimidating enough, he had a decent sized gash open up on his nose and chose to let the blood trickle down (pictured).
  • S T.J. McDonald was the star of today's physical practice.  He was flying around throughout the evening session working on his tackling technique.
  • RB Tre Madden was impressive in his second practice since switching from linebacker.  "He has a really good forward lean when he runs," said Lane Kiffin.  "He has really good feet.  He's an exciting prospect to have there."
  • DT George Uko has been one of the most dominant performers this spring, but he was caught loafing too many times in the last scrimmage.  So, the coaches left him a note saying that he was demoted to the second team.  The message was received.  "I knew it was more of a motivation system rather than trying to bring me down," said Uko, who responded with one of his best practices.
  • Uko is the only real established defensive tackle, but he's a special talent.  "I feel like I can make a big impact if I can just get my mind right," he said.  "This is 'SC.  We're all big impact players here.  That's why we came here."
  • The backup quarterback competition has been a two-man race this spring between Cody Kessler and Max Wittek with Jesse Scroggins unable to practice fully. 
  • Matt Barkley will take limited snaps or none at all in the scrimmage Saturday as the coaches hone in on Kessler and Wittek.  "When you play quarterback, you have to be a field general," QB coach Clay Helton emphasized command of the huddle as a key to picking Barkley's understudy. 
  • He referred to both quarterbacks as "arm talented," but he is looking for more than a flashy thrower.  "We always look for three things: decision-making, timing and accuracy," said Helton.  In that regard, the QB coach said that Kessler and Wittek are greatly improved than a year ago.
  • Here is the full presser with Lane Kiffin...

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