Spring Practice #6: Notes

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More of a practice than a scrimmage, but the Trojans got a chance to enjoy a Coliseum Saturday...

  • No major changes to the injury report.  Lane Kiffin does expect a lot of the nagging muscle issues to clear up next week.
  • FB Soma Vainuku injured his back during individual drills, so the Trojans scrimmaged without any scholarship fullbacks or tight ends.
  • WR Marqise Lee missed practice to compete in the long jump at the Trojan Invitational against a field of the nation's best teams.  Sure enough, he dominated the event and finished first with a jump of 23' 11.5" into the wind.
  • Track and football teammate Nickell Robey was not surprised by Lee's immediate success.  "He works hard.  He's an athlete at the end of the day," said Robey, who chose football over track today.  "He's good at his craft."
  • Blackwell-Sprac5-McG.JPGWithout Lee, the receiving corps was basically Victor Blackwell and De'Von Flournoy, but both impressed. 
  • Kiffin on Flournoy: "What we can hope is that we'll have a [Brandon] Carswell story.  If you have the right attitude and you stay long enough, usually, you will play.  Hopefully, he'll be another example of that."
  • Blackwell combined nicely with his old Mater Dei QB Max Wittek.  "I love him man.  He's my guy," Wittek said of Blackwell (photo from Thursday by John McGillen).  When the play breaks down, Wittek said he has a great feel for what Blackwell will do to get open.
  • Wittek ran the first team offense for the most impressive series of the day.  Flournoy made a great catch in traffic to set up the drive; then Blackwell beat Robey on the sideline; and Curtis McNeal scored on a screen pass.  "Any time you get completion after completion, you start to feel good about what you are seeing," he said.  "I felt very comfortable once [Flournoy] made the play for me."
  • Tre Madden is a running back.  At least for the rest of spring, the linebacker will continue his transformation into a power runner.  "Tre Madden did some pretty special things," said Kiffin.  "At 225 pounds, the ability to stay up with that forward lean is pretty neat to see."
  • Madden fumbled late in practice because he was tired.  As the primary practice back, he is working harder than he was at linebacker.  "I'm trying to get better every day and work on my stamina.  I had a fumble today and that was unacceptable."
  • Madden has natural ability as a runner and pass catcher.  He makes it look easy.  So, he is focusing on the details and technique of the position like pass blocking, ball security and the playbook. 
  • CB Isiah Wiley intercepted a Matt Barkley pass early in practice.  Wiley was named earlier than week by Kiffin as a player who greatly improved in the offseason.
  • Here is the full Kiffin wrap from the Coliseum...

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