Spring Ball Day 10

It was day 2 of the extended quarterback battle as Brandon Hance and Billy Hart took the majority of snaps during the shorts and shoulder practice on Friday afternoon. One of the highlights today was the performance by Hershel Dennis as the running back ran extremely well and he received praise on several different plays from Kennedy Pola for recognizing the proper lane.

It was day 2 of the extended quarterback battle as Brandon Hance and Billy Hart took the majority of snaps during the shorts and shoulder practice on Friday afternoon. Both quarterbacks had their moments looking sharp although neither performed as well as Cassel or Leinart did on Thursday. One of the highlights today was the performance by Hershel Dennis as the running back ran extremely well and he received praise on several different plays from Kennedy Pola for recognizing the proper lane.

Among the notables in attendance today were Sam Baker, Thomas Williams, Will Poole and recruit John Gibson from St. Mary's HS in Stockton. John is good friends with Trojan offensive lineman Kyle Williams and he will be in attendance at the Trojan junior day tomorrow afternoon when 100 top recruits are expected for the afternoon event.

Here are some of the highlights from the scrimmage situations for both quarterbacks:

Billy Hart

Billy missed his first pass to a wide open Hershel in the flat but he followed that with a completion to Dominique Byrd who made a nice one-handed grab. Another completion followed to Justin Wyatt and Wyatt made two guys miss. Kevin Arbet was spending his time on the sidelines talking to Poole explaining coverages and assignments. Billy overthrew a wide-open Byrd and on the play Ryan Ting gave an excellent pop off the line to slow Greig Carlson. Billy then hit Mike Williams on a deep pattern and Mike outran both Tings to the end zone. On his next play Hart completed a pass along the sideline to Byrd who got flattened on the best hit of the day by Mike Ross. Billy then saw another receiver take a good lick as he completed a pass to Sandy Fletcher and he got rocked by Bobby Otani. Billy completed his next pass to Williams and it went for a touchdown. His next possession began with a short pass to Wyatt who outran Otani to pick up 15 extra yards after the catch. Another completion to Wyatt went for no gain as Matt Grootegoed put his helmet into the chest of Wyatt and drove him onto his back. Hershel had his best run of the day when he headed right but saw Dallas Sartz with good penetration into the backfield so he cut on a dime and shot like a jet up the middle for a 17 yard gain. It was the kind of cut and burst that drew a reaction from the observers on the sideline. After he got back to the huddle Hershel gave each of his offensive linemen a pat on the butt for a job well done. Van Brown, who looked very good in earlier lineman drills, beat Kyle Williams for a sack. Billy tried to hit Wyatt but the ball was dropped as he might have heard footsteps from Brandon Ting who was zeroing in for the hit. Hart's next pass was intercepted by Kyle Matthews.

Brandon Hance

The first play was a handoff to Hershel that went for about five yards until a pile-up and then a few more yards were gained after big Fred Matua came from behind to push the pile forward. Omar Nazel came for a sack and then Hershel took a handoff but was met immediately at the line by Danny Urquhart who had shoved aside Lenny Vandermade. A short completion to Wyatt was followed by a quick hit from Melvin Simmons who knocked Wyatt straight onto his back. Brandon missed a couple passes where it was clear that his arm is still not 100%. It's unfortunate timing for Brandon to be hampered during such a critical evaluation period but it's admirable that he's out here competing as well as he is despite the sore shoulder. A good pass to Wyatt was dropped and Justin stayed after practice to work with Lane Kiffin on pass catching drills. We've said it before, Wyatt has rare ability with the ball in his hands and hopefully this small habit of the occasional drop can be cured quickly. Hance threw the ball high to Williams and BMW came down with the catch after battling Darnell Bing in the air. Nazel got another sack. Hershel put together a few nice runs up the middle showing his fancy footwork. Brandon hit Lee Webb with a short completion.


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