Notables on USC's players-only session

Some notes from another USC summer workout without coaches at Howard Jones Field.

Another players-only throwing session at Howard Jones Field Tuesday came with a couple interesting storylines.

First Barkley was absent from today's throwing session, making his rounds at the ESPN campus in Bristol, Conn. Spring enrollee quarterback Cody Kessler took over the number-one spot for Barkley as expected-backup Jesse Scroggins was absent. Kessler was vocal, and confident in the huddle. He made some good plays, and threw a touchdown pass in the session's final two-minute drill. Kessler is an athletic (6-2, 220) guy with a powerful arm and is totally comfortable moving around the pocket. After practice, he said he's beginning to earn the veterans' respect and was happy his line asked him to make the calls in the Trojans' final drill.

Incoming freshman George Farmer, the touted Scout five-star wide receiver out of Junipero Serra High was present at Tuesday's session.

Defensive tackle Christian Tupou was the defense's vocal leader today, calling out plays and guys who were out of position. Tupou said Tuesday that his confidence is low but it's increasing each week. He also said that he's taking all precautionary steps with USC trainers to make sure he stays healthy.

Another spring enrollee, former Mater Dei quarterback Max Wittek threw away a few passes under pressure, and didn't seem as confident as a signal caller as Kessler.

Center Khaled Holmes said he believes the incoming offensive linemen have a greater chance to start than at any time since he's been at USC.

Linebacker Marquis Simmons intercepted a pass, and showed off the rock as he strutted down the opposing field.

Toward the end of the session, a false start by the offensive line (the top-group) caused the defense to erupt, making clear a penalty had occurred.

Overall, it was a sloppy day for most participants. But without Barkley as the vocal leader, t'was expected. Top Stories