Extra Points: Takeaways from Wednesday

Some extra observations, sights and notes after Wednesday's two-a-day at Howard Jones Field.

First, receiver Marqise Lee did not attend the Trojans' morning walkthrough due to a family emergency, but he was present at the night session. Kiffin said he's been "the star of the practice[s] by far probably nobody even close to him."

Second, another freshman receiver that had a great night was Mater Dei's Victor Blackwell. Due to the depth at his position a redshirt year is all but finalized, but he has the right mental tools to use that situation and make the most of it.

Third, another receiver--who already had a redshirt year--was wearing (yet another) no-contact jersey. Kyle Prater seems indefinitely injury-prone, a factor undoubtably due to his size (6-5). He was gritting through some pain after falling on various occasions last night.

Fourth, Nickell Robey showed off what a true talent he is, picking Matt Barkley off in tight space during the Trojans' night session. And on another play in the Trojans' two-minute drill, it looked like he had rushed Barkley before the throw, which would have counted as a "sack" although special teams coach John Baxter (and blowhorn extraordinaire) thought Barkley passed it in time.

Fifth, it seems as though the backup quarterback spot is unquestionably close. Every time Kiffin gets asked, he continues to say the players are playing great but he won't know just how great until they receive some pressure. With Kessler's athletic talent in a variety of sports and ability to be a scrambler, he might end up getting that spot if the physical ability remains so close between the two early enrollees.

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