The dog days of August it wasn't as USC opened the 2013 Fall Camp under blue skies and mild temperatures, unleashing a summer's worth of energy during a physical shorts and helmets practice Saturday at Howard Jones-Brian Kennedy Field.
- The quarterback competition picked up where it left off in April. Sophomore Max Wittek is healthy again and shared the snaps with fellow sophomore Cody Kessler and freshman Max Browne.
- USC's defense, continuing its growth in defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast's 5-2, featured a new face in the defensive backfield as Dion Bailey begins the transition to safety after two years at linebacker.
- "It will just take a practice or two to really get back into the rhythm of playing safety," said a slightly slimmed down Bailey, who missed spring ball while recuperating from 2012 post-season surgery. "Things move a bit slower back there. I just need to get used to more bending and backpedaling again."
- The Trojans' roster was certainly beefier than it was in spring ball, particularly at linebacker where the additions of true freshman Quinton Powell and Michael Hutchings bolster the unit.
- "It's really exciting to get out here with this group of guys," first-year linebacker coach Mike Ekeler said. "There's great leadership here and they know me and I know them. They understand the scheme and they understand my expectations."
- The tailback rotation is a bit different with the return of sophomore Tre Madden, healed from his 2012 knee injury, and the addition of freshman Ty Isaac, who joined spring enrollee freshman Justin Davis and sophomore Javorious Allen while sharing reps today.
- Senior Silas Redd, junior D.J. Morgan and sophomore fullback Soma Vainuku were limited today as they're coming off of knee issues, Coach Lane Kiffin said.
- Junior Marcus Martin looked at home as Khaled Holmes' heir apparent at center.
- Said Kessler on Martin's work-ethic over the summer, "It's great to see a guy like Marcus step up over the summer and work as hard or harder than anyone. He was always looking for extra reps after workouts, even hitting up some of the non-football athletes to take some snaps."
- Coach Kiffin said he was impressed with the continued learning curve of freshman Justin Davis, "Justin Davis looks better than he did last spring. He's bigger, stronger, faster. jumping higher. I'm really excited because that's probably the deepest positions we have. Top to bottom there's a lot of talent."
Here is Lane Kiffin's first presser of Fall Camp. We apologize as Coach Kiffin is a little difficult to hear over the background construction.