Practice Report: Pomee to miss season

Pomee breaks foot in scrimmage Sunday, taxing depth at tight end.

LOS ANGELES – Freshman tight end Junior Pomee will miss the season after breaking his foot in Sunday's scrimmage, USC head coach Kiffin announced.

The 6-foot-3, 235-pound freshman from Perris (Calif.) had shown promise in limited action, unable to join the team until last week while finishing up summer school.

"I thought he was doing great in the little time that we've had him," Kiffin said. "We're excited about getting him rehabbed back, and hopefully he'll be ready for the spring."

With Pomee out, sophomore Christian Thomas (hip) sidelined and redshirt senior Rhett Ellison playing fullback, the Trojans' promising depth at the position has been depleted.

Walk-ons Ross Cumming and Zack Kusnir were moved to tight end Tuesday to supplement redshirt freshmen Xavier Grimble and Randall Telfer.

Numbers Game
The jersey number assigned to a USC freshman offers a good indication of what coaches expect in his college career.

Freshman linebacker Lamar Dawson was bestowed the legendary No. 55, previously worn by All-Americans Junior Seau, Chris Claiborne and Keith Rivers, before ever setting foot on campus.

"I'm going to have to live up to the number," said Dawson, who wore No. 5 at Junction City (Ky.) Boyle County. "They told me I was going to be No. 55, and there were going to be some challenges that come with it. I'm stepping up to the challenges."

Dawson has certainly lived up to the number in fall camp, immediately stepping in as the backup middle linebacker behind redshirt senior Chris Galippo and showing promise with the starters when Galippo hurt his right shoulder.

"It's different," Dawson said of the transition to college. "The linemen are bigger and stronger. I'm still getting used to that. And everybody's fast."

But for a true freshman to get his number changed at his request less than two weeks before the season begins says all that needs to be said about wide receiver Marqise Lee, among the most impressive Trojans on the entire roster this fall.

Lee wore No. 9 for the first time Tuesday, the same number he wore at Gardena (Calif.) Serra, after starting out his USC career as No. 17. His final appearance in that jersey came in Sunday's final scrimmage, when he caught seven passes for 165 yards, both team highs.

"I worked hard to get these numbers," Lee said.

Ambles transfers
Sophomore wide receiver Markeith Ambles is no longer with the USC program, Kiffin confirmed.

"We wish him the best of luck. We're moving forward. Hopefully he does good things," Kiffin said.

Ambles, who caught one pass for three yards while appearing in four games as a freshman, encountered plenty of turmoil in his brief Trojan career.

A four-star recruit coming out of McDonough (Ga.) Henry County, Ambles selected USC over Tennessee and North Carolina. However, he struggled with the transition and was buried on the depth chart before being suspended indefinitely in October for violations of team rules.

Ambles intended to transfer before returning to the team in January, but had more run-ins with coaches in the spring and barely practiced during fall camp because of academic concerns.

Ambles was declared academically ineligible last week and his status with the program going forward was under review.

Kiffin declined to say whether he dismissed Ambles from the team.

As first reported by Whitney Blaine of Fox Sports/Scout.com, Ambles plans to enroll at community college and play football and baseball.

Quick Hits
-Running back Curtis McNeal (knee) was limited. D.J. Morgan saw extensive reps with the starting offense, but Kiffin downplayed its significance.

"Those guys are all just rotating through," Kiffin said.

-Redshirt freshman quarterback Jesse Scroggins (thumb) rejoined the team after being taken off the 105-man camp roster. Kiffin did not provide any update on when Scroggins could return to action.


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