Quoting Kiffin: Thursday Fall Camp

USC head coach Lane Kiffin talks after Thursday's practice at Howard Jones Field.

"Okay a number of injuries to go through here. Tyler Grady out, Kusnir out, J. R. Tavai is still out, Christian [Thomas]'s knee is bothering him, tries to push through, we'll continue to hold him out at times. Baucham out, Tony Burnett, Torin Harris, Jawanza Starling, Demetrius Wright, T.J. McDonald with an ankle, Galippo is still out, Dion Bailey with the foot, Gio we talked about surgery, Cody Temple is still out, Jesse Scroggins had surgery this morning on his thumb, do not have a timeline for that. Robert Woods with an ankle out. So we're seeing the price that you pay for doing what we're doing. And it's a decision that we made to go this direction to tackle, to have physical practice the way that we are. I think it's too critical to make sure that and prepare our guys for game-like situations so this is the down side to it. I think I just said 19, 20 guys that were out so we'll deal with it. We'll push through."

(On did he expect Scroggins to get surgery)
--"No, no it was a surprise. We obviously did it quick for obvious reasons. But as of yesterday I did not think it was going to be that severe.

(On what exactly the surgery was)
--"I just know it was a surgery dealing with his hand and thumb area and do not have a timeframe.

(On who is the number two quarterback right now)
--"Don't have one. No different than before. Those guys will battle it out. They're both doing great. There's been, if you look at the last two days, those guys are up there above 60 percent and all the way into the 80 percents at times. So it's good to see those guys they don't look like freshmen but then again this isn't the real thing, either."

(On if Scroggins would be ready for the first game)
--"Oh I don't know that would all depend on how long he's out. I have no way to know."

(On Barkley's performance thus far)
--"I think it's coming along. I think as we figure out who are going to be the exact pieces around him then, which hopefully we'll really start to narrow in after game two, and be able to really set that timing up because nothing is clear cut with those guys outside of Robert [Woods]."

(On whether Brice Butler coming back the day after an injury impresses Kiffin)
--"It does. A few hours after he was [on cruches] so it was good to see. I don't know if that would have happened a year ago, so I'm proud of him."

(On receiver Markeith Ambles' being present today)
--"We do not, we don't have, he's done with school so there's nothing left for him to stay in we've been keeping in so he could work on that and so he's done with that. But the grades aren't posted, so in the meantime we thought it was worthwhile to get him out here just to have him running around see him moving around so that if he is eligible we can move forward not just start at that time. So I think it was good for him."

(On Aundrey Walker's performance at the guard spot)
--"Physically dominate. Very tough. He won, after a two hour practice to be that size, coming off of a hip injury, actually won one of the gassers with the linemen down there, is unique at that weight. He's got a long ways to go mentally because we just put him there so he had to start all over again. All the calls are different in there. So we have to do extra means with him, extra time with him to bring him along. Because we wouldn't want to play right now because Khaled would play way too slow having to do everything for him like he's doing right now. So that's nothing against him that's just going into a new position." (On Ambles playing on defense in practice)
--"I don't know I know how he moves around on that side. And so [I] wanted to see him move around in the DB drills today and do some different things just kind of, we'll go back and watch the film of it."

(On who would be the No. 2 quarterback if there was a game today)
--"We're not playing a game tomorrow so you know that answer. You guys ask that every year. I don't know, don't have to, that's just how it is. I don't have to make that decision so we don't right now. If it was clear cut we would make that decision and it's not."

(On Ambles playing out here despite what Kiffin said yesterday)
--"No I didn't want him out here taking reps away from guys. And so as you see he didn't do any of the team stuff to take reps away from guys. I wanted him in there concentrating on school and all his school stuff is finished now so you can't do anything on school and we only let him go through individuals so he didn't take reps away from guys."

(On Kiffin's impression of Carswell's development)
--"I think he's developed a lot. I think when he came in if you would have asked me I probably would have thought we wouldn't see this day based off of what we were seeing, the level we were trying to get to, the play we expected and it's a credit to him. You guys have heard me say it before but when you stay you play because you stay long enough you learn the stuff so well you mature on the field and off the field and in your approach to the game and you end up playing. Chris McFoy did that, he's a kind of guy like that when we were here before but Brandon has even moved up further than that probably. So very proud of what he's done. We actually called him up at the end there and we were going to be done a little bit shorter than normal, after Marqise [Lee] made the great play and we were done and he stood up and said no we're going to Trojan Time to finish even though the coaches weren't going to make them."

(On Kiffin's impression of Marqise Lee)
--"Natural playmaker when you have guys, especially at that position, some guys are high rep guys when you have to show them, and then they have to do it, and then they screw it up and then finally, eventually they get it. He just naturally does things. You can see why he's such a gifted athlete in track, basketball, things just come easy to him. I think the sky's the limit with him. I think he's untapped on how good he can be. So really excited, I think that's the classic story that if our staff wasn't covering the ground, because initially early on he wasn't a high ranked guy early, all the attention was on Robert [Woods] the year before and then George [Farmer]. Glad that our evaluation process kept digging with him to find him. He may end up being one of the best ones in that group when it's all said and done."

(More on Marqise Lee)
--"Even though I didn't coach him the guy that he would compare to most is Damian Williams, very similar releases, fluid route runner, natural hands, really smooth and looks like him, just from watching old film of Damian they look very similar."

(On which injured player concerns Kiffin the most)
--"Got to re-look [at my list] there's like 21 of them. Well we don't talk about Armond [Armstead] because he's still in the same status so he would be up there as most important. Demetrius Wright he had moved up to first team when he got hurt, Robert [Woods] will be fine he'll be back. All those guys are important but you got some headliners on there including the middle linebacker, Chris. The only good thing about that is Lamar [Dawson] is taking all the reps with the ones so that's great experience from him. There's always, you never want injuries but when there are injuries there's always something bright that happens, because there's more reps for someone else."

(On if Kiffin is still seeing freshmen mistakes)
"That's the norm. It's not normal, Aundrey walker, Lamar Dawson, Amir Carlisle, that's abnormal. It's going to take, to do that you're going to have to be very, very talented and then you're going to have to be mature in your approach to the game or you can't do it. You've seen extremely talented guys come in here and they're just not ready. So what's those guys are doing is abnormal."


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