Notables from 7/12 Players-Only Session

Notes from Tuesday's (7/12) players-only throwing session

It was an early morning for the USC football team who practiced out on Cromwell Field Tuesday. Beginning at 6:30 a.m., about 70 players worked with strength and conditioning coaches before taking the field on their own 45 minutes later for the players-only throwing session.

Incoming freshman in attendance included safety Isiah Wiley, guard Aundrey Walker and tailback Amir Carlisle. More notable than safety Drew McAlister giving Wiley advice and beyond Carlisle's impressive speed was Walker's size. Walker, listed at 6-6, 375, is the biggest freshman on this team, if not the biggest player on the team. And he's surprisingly athletic for his size.

Freshman not in attendance included fullback J. R. Tavai, linebacker Tre Madden and defensive ends Steve Dillon and Greg Townsend, Jr. Linebacker Anthony Sarao showed up for the strength and conditioning portion, but did not stay after.

The session was more organized than any previously held players-only practices this summer. The linemen were separated from the defensive backs, quarterbacks and receivers. Veteran guard-turned-center Khaled Holmes instructed the offensive lineman, whereas linebacker-turned-end Devon Kennard gave tips to the defensive lineman, along with Nick Perry and Wes Horton.

Nick Perry, who doesn't usually make it out to these players-only sessions, said this is the hardest-working offseason he's seen since he's been at USC. Armond Armstead, who has not yet been medically cleared, was present Tuesday as well and agreed that the defense is building a great amount of confidence heading into Fall Camp. Freshman Victor Blackwell played well in the 7on7 portion of the day, as well as Randall Telfer, D.J. Morgan and Nickell Robey.

Quarterback Cody Kessler talked about how comfortable the guys are becoming with one another and said he feels like he's doing all he can to earn that backup spot behind starting signalcaller Matt Barkley. But on the other hand, Kessler illustrated his knowledge of USC quarterbacks and said other greats have redshirted before, so he would not see it as a disappointment.

To end the day, cornerback Anthony Brown beat out receiver De'Von Flournoy on back-to-back sprints that captured the team's attention. Also, it is freshman kicker Andre Heidari's birthday today.


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