A noticeable presence was running back Marc Tyler, who showed off why he was the Trojans' leading rusher last season with a few spin moves and flashy cuts. He looked a bit leaner, a bit more focused than the previous session he attended.
Patrick Hall, who will undergo surgery to repair his ACL, took an active vocal role in Thursday's session, occasionally issuing his thoughts to the defense.
Barkley felt comfortable on the run today, running on second down in the two-minute drill, but got stopped a yard from the goal line. The play resulted in a huge uproar from the players in attendance, especially T.J. McDonald who jumped on Barkley's back. QB1 also filled in at tightend when freshman Cody Kessler was under center, because they were in need of another receiver. When Barkley caught the pass on the play, Tony Burnett asked him what route he ran. His answer: "a special quarterback route."
Another Barkley note: he said his throwing position has been raised a bit higher than where it was last season. He said he had been focused on other aspects of his game and raising his arm has helped him come over the top better.
T.J. McDonald showed his speed throughout the session, covering a huge amount of field in the 7 on 7 drills.
A few interesting nicknames were heard today. Markeith Ambles was donning a pair of stretch black pants and players kept referring to him as the "Black Swan." Cornerback Tony Burnett was wearing a similar pair, in white, and gave himself the nickname the "White Ranger." A third nickname, "Country," was used when calling fullback Hunter Simmons into the huddle.
Overall, Thursday went much smoother on both sides of the ball, a testament to how important Barkley is as the leader of this football team (although he said he was losing his voice after talking all day Tuesday). About 55 players were in attendance.
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