Quoting Kiffin

The Trojans' head coach gives his opinion on how his team is shaping up after the third day of fall camp.

--"J.R. Tavai out with a hamstring injury, Giovanni Di Poalo out with a shoulder [injury], Cody Temple remains out with a back injury."

--"During practice, Torin Harris came out to check a concussion, Christian Tupou came out because his knee was bothering him. I don't know the extent of that. I don't think it was major. Three days in a row is a lot on a guy coming back from [major knee surgery]. So hopefully he'll be okay."

--"As far as practice today, pretty much the defense dominated practice. I thought the defense outplayed the offense physically and was pleased with that from a defensive standpoint. Guys making a number of plays. Shane Horton made a great interception down at the goal line, so it was good to see."

--"Where we're at right now after last season coming into this year...our defense should be our strength. We're returning a good number of guys over there, a number of guys got experience that hadn't played much before, like our secondary outside of Shareece [Wright]."

--"It's encouraging to see [defensive] guys play pretty physical and really get after it. Probably more than a year ago I was more worried about the offense. Making sure they were improving. We don't want to get into a bunch of shootouts so it's good."

--"Shane [Horton] made a really good play which is good because he's coming back. He looks better by far than he's been with us, coming back with a healthy hip and a great offseason in general. Nickell Robey made another great play on a timing post from the 20-yard line. Those are things that make us look like really good coaches because you can't teach that right there. They either have it or they dont. So I think he's a really special player."

(On Barkley's three picks in today's practice)
--"It is a concern. We got to get back to basics and making sure we're not doing too much. Just because we have a bunch of good skilled guys --a number of them are still inexperienced. Just because he's going into his third year we have to make sure we have 'A' down before we go to 'B' and C. I've got to look at that myself because sometimes you get bored out here...because the plays are so basic. But sometimes you have to stay basic before you get complicated."

(On quarterback competition at the No. 2 spot)
--"I think it's exciting because I think all three of them are playing really well. I would say maybe where we came out of spring and Jesse [Scroggins] had the lead, I would say that's closing. Not based off of Jesse because he's playing great but based off the other two who are now really in their freshman year. So it's good to see. Max [Wittek] is bigger and stronger, looks like he's grown up a year or two even though it's only been a couple of months."

--"You just have to watch that. I have to watch that with me and him just based off his experience. Instead of just running another slant, another hitch, another basic route, trying to do stuff to beat the defense that we haven't even installed yet. That falls on me. But that's not saving him from it too. Even with that he's still got to make good decisions. He did it later in practice, starting to check it down more after forcing it."

--"I think everybody's kind of right where they were coming in except for Amir [Carlisle]. Amir continues to show things. It was good today to have the shoulder pads on today to see how physical he tried to run. Obviously he's not a big guy but to see him try to run and - you've been around when a freshman starts to shine a little bit - [the opposing side is] going to take their shots at him and you saw that today. You say guys kind of, really take shots at him and saw him bounce right back up and go so it was good to see."

--"A guy who was a redshirt freshman, George Uko, continues to play extremely well and is probably playing as well as any inside guy for us on defense, including the older guys and two seniors."

--"We feel like it's still early but it was the first time we've put shoulder pads on this camp so we have a lot of work to do. I think Monday will show a lot so that's why we're going to do so much Monday."

(On who is getting closer to securing that spot at right tackle)
--"Kevin Graf. I said we feel great about our center, great about our left tackle and we're starting to feel great about our right tackle. Kevin's completely different [than] a year ago. He just looks like a completely different guy. He's changed his body fat, he's changed his speed, strength. Part of that too is he was coming off a shoulder [injury], playing with a bad shoulder and finally got surgery on it. So it's great to see. Sometimes that happens. Linemen on both sides going into their third year and they kind of start to blossom. So hopefully that will carry over when they put the full pads on."

(On Khaled Holmes adjusting to snapping at the center position)
--"Yeah you have a guy who's been playing guard for two years so he's in there for that transition, not really being in there and I think he's doing really well with that."


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