Lee and Wittek Tweak their Knees in first day of contact

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I don't usually follow spring ball. Too many unknowns until fall training camp starts.

But if something interesting happens then I will make note of it.

Yesterday both Max Wittek and Marqise Lee tweaked their knees on the first day of tackling.

Halfway through USC's first full-contact practice of the spring, Saturday at the Coliseum, quarterback Max Wittek and receiver Marqise Lee were sidelined, each with an ice pack on one knee.

That's the type of nightmare scenario that led Coach Lane Kiffin to generally eschew tackling in practice last season, primarily because of USC's NCAA-sanctioned scholarship reductions. Kiffin relented after the Trojans went 7-6 last season, and announced last month that tackling would return this spring.

At least for now, the Trojans appear to have escaped big problems. Kiffin said Lee and Wittek, injured during separate plays, would be examined further, but each player walked off the field with only a minor limp. Lee said he wanted to return to practice but Kiffin would not allow it.

I am not too worried, dents and dings happen when you go to full contact.

- - -

Now is the time to work out the kinks with a number of new faces in camp and with players at new positions...

Max Tuerk is one such player, from the same article.

USC continues to have snap issues with center Max Tuerk, who is learning the position, and the three quarterbacks. Not surprisingly, Tuerk is struggling with low snaps in the shotgun formation, but many under-center snaps have also led to quarterbacks bobbling the ball.

Kiffin expressed confidence that Tuerk will improve and said the exchange issues were ''not a major concern'' but are something that USC will want to work on.

With Khaled Holmes off to the league someone has to step up. Now is the time for Kiffin to experiment at some of those positions where he has question marks.

None of this is really surprising as it is part of the growing process as the team goes through an identity change.

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