2014 Fall Camp #12: Notes

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom and Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributors

On the eve of another two-a-day, the coaching staff was extremely impressed by the Trojans' performance as they continue to grind through the heart of Fall Camp.
  • "These are kind of the dog days of training camp...It's easy to try and just survive a practice," said head coach Steve Sarkisian. "I thought the guys today had awesome energy. They were competing from the moment we started and competing at a high level. I was really proud of them."
  • Sarkisian emphasized that the focus for the next two weeks will be all the little elements of the game. He said, "This isn't about implementing schemes. We've got a pretty good idea of who we are... Now it's about the details of the calls, the nuances of the calls. Those are the things that we are really trying to nail right now, the special scenarios."Dixon.jpg
  • Entering his fifth season, senior TE Randall Telfer knows the importance of mastering the tiny details, something he preaches to the younger guys. "I feel like I bring some experience. I've been here for forever, it seems," laughed Telfer. "I've played in a lot of games and been in a lot of different situations. I've been up at the half, been down at the half, I've lost games during the season and won a lot of games too. I feel like I add that element for whenever guys get down on themselves, I can put things in perspective for them."
  • As the most experienced member of the tight end group, Telfer recognizes the importance of his role on the team but is excited for the challenge. "It feels like it's been forever since last season," said the senior. "I'm just excited to get back out there. It's the first time in a while that I've been 100 percent. I feel ready to go. I try not to think about any pressure. I feel like there is a little bit just because I'm the older guy and there are a lot of young guys looking up to me. But I just try to put my head down and play the game."
  • Telfer's leadership has dramatically impacted freshman TE Bryce Dixon (pictured) who has made tremendous strides since the start of camp. "Bryce is doing exceptionally well. I'm very proud of what he's done so far. He's picking up the playbook pretty well, especially for a freshman," praised Telfer. "I'm looking forward to what he can do for us this season."
  • The senior tight end's presence is not only recognized by the freshmen, but by the coaching staff as well. "Telfer is very important not only to our tight end group but to our team," explained tight ends coach Marques Tuiasosopo. "He's a senior, he's been around and he has goals that he wants to accomplish still. He's a hard worker, he's one of the first guys out here catching balls each day. He's very patient with our young tight ends, he's teaching them and he's a great role model."
  • The AP released its preseason rankings on Sunday with the Trojans coming in at No. 15. When asked of his reaction, Sarkisian described the news as 'totally irrelevant' saying that he's never talked about rankings with the team. Instead, the head coach focused on the team's main goals for the season. "What we can control is trying to win the PAC-12 South. If we can do that then we can compete for a PAC-12 Championship and then the ball's out of our court."
  • Offensive injury report: OG Aundrey Walker continues to improve as the coaches were impressed with his performance in the last 48 hours, and OG Damien Mama is back after tweaking his ankle on Saturday. RB Justin Davis was sidelined due to an ankle injury he suffered in Saturday's practice but the coaches are not concerned with its severity.
  • Defensive injury report: DT Cody Temple is recovering from a concussion so he was no contact on Sunday but should be back fully in the next couple of days. OLB J.R. Tavai is also back after rolling his ankle on Saturday. S Gerald Bowman was out sick so he did not practice. DE Leonard Williams and DT Antwaun Woods both were back in full pads, but ILB Lamar Dawson is still recovering from a knee injury. OLB Jabari Ruffin, who tore his ACL last week, scheduled his surgery for the end of this month but has already begun rehab.
  • Much to the players' delight, Andre Heidari made a 40-yard field goal to help the Trojans end practice a little early and some members of the team even elected to jump off the high dive to cool off after another hot day.
  • Here is Coach Sarkisian after practice...

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