Four practices down and starting depth charts are beginning to emerge in many of the key position groups for USC. Steve Sarkisian looked rather comfortable coaching from the Coliseum grass as his team took the field for another 2:30-plus hour session preparing for Friday afternoon's first fully-padded practice of Fall Camp.
- Coach Sarkisian feels his team still needs to learn how to practice on a consistent basis. In the midst of a high-tempo 11-on-11 session, an accumulation of poor disciple, taking guys to the ground (not allowed today since players were wearing just helmets and shoulder pads) resulted in punishment. Coaches blew the whistle and players from both sides of the ball lined up to run gassers from sideline to sideline for about five minutes.
"We just have to learn to practice. What I appreciate about our group is that we never have to push them to get going. A lot of times I have to hold them back. And if we are going to be a really good team, we are going to be physical, gonna tackle when its time to tackle, but we also need to be a smart team."
- The production from USC's talented freshmen has been something special to watch up to this point. But the guy who is really beginning to separate himself as the best player has been Adoree' Jackson.
Jackson, a talented two-way star, lined up with the first-team offense in the backfield carrying the rock, catching passes in the screen game and motioned out to slot for productive routes. He even played some corner against the second-string offense. Watch out folks, this kid could make a huge impact right away.
While JuJu Smith (WR) and Rahshead Johnson (S) have stayed completely on one side of the ball thus far, Coach Sarkisian recognizes the versatility Jackson brings to the table and feels he deserves to be tested all over the field.
In terms of managing Jackson's workload during these first five evaluation days Sarkisian's been quite honestly worried, noting that: "we've really counted his reps to see exactly what he's doing. His reps aren't more necessarily than the other guys, but it is a lot more mentally."
- The defensive line really put together a strong performance led by Antwaun Woods and Delvon Simmons. Each created massive penetration going against the OG/C combos, plummeting right into the Trojans' backfield and affecting the timing of both Cody Kessler and Max Browne.
- George Farmer continues his dramatic rise up the depth chart and that proved itself to be the case once again on Thursday as he took more first-team reps across from Nelson Agholor than Darreus Rogers. The bevy of riches at the wideout position will only provide Kessler more dynamic options, complementing his strong pass-catching running backs in the Trojans' fast-paced passing game.
- On the injury front, Su'a Cravens returned to team-related activities spending most of his afternoon with the second-team defense while Kevon Seymour was still out. Aundrey Walker was limited to just position group activities while Jordan Simmons and Lamar Dawson were limited.
- Sophomore LB Michael Hutchings had an impressive interception of Max Browne, leaping to snag a pass over the middle. He actually had chances at two-to-three of those on Wednesday but just couldn't complete the play. Hutchings and J.R. Tavai both looked impressive with the second-team defense.
- Kickers Andre Heidari and Matt Boermeester each made three of four FG attempts during their direct competition. Heidari nailed a nice 51-yarder into a slight wind (missed from 28-yds), while Boermeester missed a kick from the far right hash but landed a 59-yard kick before the start of practice.
- Lamont Simmons did an excellent job in pass coverage today battling the likes of Nelson Agholor and George Farmer during a plethora of his 11-on-11 drills.
- Freshman QB Jalen Greene threw two touchdown passes within minutes of each other, sparking a major uproar from his offensive compatriots. Greene connected with WR Ajene Harris and TE Connor Spears heading towards the Peristyle side of the field.
- Just so you know
This is what the Peristyle end of the Coliseum looks like now. pic.twitter.com/tnkjAILXit— Ryan Abraham (@insidetroy) August 7, 2014