Trojans' Offseason Improvements

Some members of the USC Trojans discuss what they're trying to improve upon heading into Fall camp.

The USC Trojans 2011 Fall Camp begins in just over two weeks. But it's been a busy Spring and Summer for many players. Some key Trojans told SCPlaybook what aspect of their individual game they're working on improving.

Chris Galippo, middle linebacker, redshirt senior: "Tackling, just overall more ‘sure' tackles."

Nickell Robey, cornerback, sophomore: "Major thing I'm improving is pretty much my feet, my technique. Going against the tall guys, like Kyle Prater and Brice Butler. I'm doing a lot of work with them. Just from last year looking at my film, when I studied my film. I looked at the Virginia game-that was an important one because I got beat on the fade route with tall guys like [Prater]. So I did that a lot, and I've been looking at my technique from that and it's improved a lot. Mainly it's about the first five yards, with your man-to-man technique the first five yards it's what's important and after that it's what's going to set you up if you're going to make a play or not."

Drew McAllister, safety, redshirt junior: "Getting my speed back from the hip surgeries. And I think I'm pretty much there--I'm working on strengthening my legs through rehab and weight training. And then conditioning hard with the team."

Anthony Brown, cornerback, redshirt freshman: "My speed. Speed kills and the coaches love speed and with my speed I'll be able to do multiple things, like kickoff returns. I want to show my skills and athleticism so speed is a big deal to me. My numbers in every area are improving, my broad jump, my shuttle, my vertical, all that."

Kyle Prater, wide receiver, redshirt freshman: "Just improving every aspect of my game. I don't really focus on one thing. Routes, everything. Getting out of my cuts faster, because I just came off my foot injury. I feel faster and quicker now, and more explosive."

Khaled Holmes, offensive lineman, redshirt junior: "Snapping and stepping. I've been improving both, I'm excited for camp."

Dion Bailey, linebacker, redshirt freshman: "My run fits, normally I'm supposed to be in the run game so I need to know where I'm supposed to be so I can find a way to manipulate it so I can use my speed to my advantage so I can beat people to the spots and not have to collide with the 300-pounders like Matt Kalil and them as much as I was in the Spring. Everybody has a spot they're supposed to be I just have to be familiar with the spot so I can get there faster and not have as much contact. I came from safety so when I cover tight ends I feel like I have a big advantage—I'm faster than them, more athletic most of the time so that's the thing I really like about linebacker. When we play man I'm guarding the tight end so the ball is thrown my way I have a chance to make a big play."

T.J. McDonald, safety, junior: "Making sure that I can communicate and I'm reading the offense before the play starts, I'm watching film and making sure that my body is in the best shape it can be in. As for right now, if you don't know what you're doing out here then you're basically out here for no reason. So definitely coming out here with a purpose and being able to communicate with all the guys and bring everyone else along because once we all gel as a defense it's going to make everybody better individually. One thing is making sure that I can get faster out of my breaks, maybe not back pulling out as fast and being able to break out of my breaks faster. A lot of that comes from just working out here and footwork drills and being powerful in the weight room."

Da'John Harris, defensive tackle, redshirt senior: "Pass rushing. As a defensive lineman that's one thing that you continue to work on constantly."

Brice Butler, wide receiver, redshirt junior: "Getting my mind right to be more physical. You can't practice it. I know what it takes you just have to do it. You know how your mom tells you to do something and you know you can do it but you don't want to? But when you do it's fine? It's like that. It's going to be alright, you can't really tell if that's improved though until you put pads on in camp."

Xavier Grimble, tightend, redshirt freshman: "Technique and play recognition, getting to know my plays better and being more familiar with the defenses and defensive fronts and coverages and stuff. Just being a complete better. I've gotten so much better since last year. I'm actually glad I redshirted. I've got to learn a lot."

Brandon Carswell, wide receiver, redshirt senior: Improving in "transition, getting in and out of breaks [better]."

Marshall Jones, safety, redshirt senior: "Knowing the defense fully because last year we didn't know it completely. But I'm studying film a lot and I understand what's going on more. Just being on point and being on top of my game, making sure I know exactly what I'm doing all the time."

D.J. Morgan, tailback, redshirt freshman: "My spring was okay, a lot of people thought I played good but it's the mentality that can get better. Being able to cut without my brace on [after having knee surgery]—it's a mental thing. It takes time."


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