2014 Spring Practice #12: Notes

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Just one week of spring football to go...
  • The Trojans practiced in front of about 200 aspiring coaches who attended the USC Coaches' Clinic and got to spend the day learning USC's schemes and structure.
  • On the field, practice ran long again as Steve Sarkisian continues to push the team's conditioning. "Today was a little longer than we usually practice and you see people kind of fell off cause they didn't know how many plays we had left," said senior LB Hayes Pullard. "That's what we're trying to work towards. You don't know when it is going to be overtime. You don't know when it's going to be crunch time in the fourth quarter."
  • WR Victor Blackwell was the big playmaker running behind the defense early in practice, but Sarkisian described the wideout as "inconsistent" this spring with a handful of great practices and then times when he disappears. The head coach hopes that a day like today "is inspiring" to Blackwell to keep working and pushing to get better on and off the field.
  • Buck Allen returned to practice providing some much needed relief for Tre Madden and Jahleel Pinner who have been the only healthy running backs for most of spring. "I hate sitting out. I love the game of football. It is my life," said Allen. "It ached me so much to see my guys suffer. I know how it is to only have two backs and have the rest watching."
  • Former USC linebacker and linebackers coach Joe Barry took in practice from the sideline.  His former pupil Hayes Pullard came over to say hello. "It's always great seeing a coach who came and got me out of high school and taught me my first baby steps playing as a freshman," said Pullard about Barry.
  • Sarkisian has no deadline set for naming a starting quarterback, and Cody Kessler is unfazed by the wait. "We've made a lot of strides as an offense, so I want to finish strong. That sets us up to go into summer full speed and continue this thing going right into Fall Camp."
  • Snaps have been an issue at times during the spring as Max Tuerk adjusts to the center position, but Kessler described him as "100 times better" than when he started there a month ago.
  • Here is Sarkisian's presser including naming three players ready to break out:

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