After Monday’s light practice, USC Trojans head coach Clay Helton had nothing but positive things to say about the team’s performance thus far. Coach Helton started out the press conference with shout-outs to both sides of the ball. Linebackers Uchenna Nwosu and Connor Murphy had a strand showing on the defensive front.
On the offensive side, Coach Helton was impressed with the communication and the physicality that the offensive line showed during practice. Hopefully this can follow the Trojans into the season, as the Trojans lost key pieces from last year’s offensive line and the unit is one of the few question marks facing this team in 2017. Coach Helton also went on to mention the strides being made by freshmen offensive linemen, Andrew Voorhees and Austin Jackson. Both making noticeable progress and both said to be ahead of the curve for their age.
The Trojans are also hoping that Mackey award hopeful, and redshirt sophomore Daniel Imatorbhebhe is able to return to action soon at the tight-end position. Imatorbhebhe has been dealing with a nagging injury to his hip flexor and is on pace to return 2 weeks prior to the first game. Junior tight-end Tyler Petite is also currently going through concussion protocol, which has left him to miss action. This has helped the younger tight ends like Erik Krommenhoek to get valuable reps in their absence. As of right now, both veterans are expected to return in time for the first game but they are missing valuable time to work with QB Sam Darnold.
The Trojans seem to be making progress on both sides of the ball, giving the players and the coaching staff confidence going into the season. Depth could be vital if the 12-game slog without a bye week takes a toll on the injury front. So it is not surprising that the focus now seems to not only be on health, but the preparation of the younger players as well. Making sure that if anything does happen, they’re ready to go. If camp continues to go this well, that shouldn’t be a problem.