It was the final practice before the Spring Game, and coach Sarkisian wanted to add specific instillation periods to better prepare his players for summer workouts. So while the media were shunned from the action, players had a chance to get some final reps under the watchful eyes of their coaches before taking it live to the Coliseum.
"We focused today's work on getting our players prepared for Summer," Sarkisian said. "We want to make sure they are warming up properly, we want to make sure the leaders emerge and that there's organization."
In terms of the young guns, Sarkisian says Claude Pelon is one of the "most improved guys on the roster," who has drastically improved his conditioning, hustle and is making a natural transition from Junior College to the Division-1 level. DE/OLB Don Hill, who was injured heading into Spring Football, has been cleared to begin jogging this week.
"He has steadily improved, and I've been impressed with what he's been able to do, playing against the likes of Antwaun Woods and Hayes Pullard on a daily basis," Sarkisian says about current starting left guard Toa Lobendahn.
Sarkisian went on to announce that on Saturday, the team will play football for about an hour. Add the distractions of Pac-12 Media timeouts, some major marketing events and what not, the team will run roughly 100 plays to allow fans to compete and give fans a small sample size of what's to come this season.
"I want to give the guys a chance to tackle because they've deserved it," Sarkisian said, before commenting on whether his team will engage in full-tackling drills, "I'm gonna monitor it as we go."
Other than those final thoughts, the stage has been set for what should be a real two-deep defensive effort for Justin Wilcox's unit. Cody Kessler will take the first snaps on offense, and Sarkisian wants his entire team to play hard, play smart but I want our guys to have fun enjoying the experience."
I'm asking all of my fans, followers and supporters to come out To our spring game this Sat at 3. Come show live and support the Trojans✌️— GBOW (@Gerald_Bowman) April 18, 2014
Along with the hype for the final session before Fall Camp, check out some of the introductory interviews with some of the five early enrollees that have just arrived.
JALEN GREENE --QB (via USC Athletics)
TOA LOBENDAHN-OL (Via Inside Troy)
CLAUDESON PELON-DL (Via Inside Troy)