For the second session, it was a solid turnout. Early enrollees like Scott Starr and spring transfer Josh Shaw were in attendance. A few players told me how impressed they were with Starr and his work ethic. Shaw is a transfer from Florida and has been through the college system already but Starr is a couple weeks in and his teammates have been impressed with what they've seen from the linebacker thus far. I saw him work out at both middle and strongside linebacker positions in the loose coverages they had today.
Talked to George Farmer Thursday, who was absent from the Trojans' first throwing session on Tuesday, according to reports. He clarified what his current academic situation is, saying he's under "Probation 1" which he said is a temporary probation and Probation 2 is an ineligibility which would prevent him from playing football in the fall. Basically because he had a 1.9 GPA for one semester if he gets over a 2.1 this spring he will be fine to play for fall. He can still participate in spring practices when they come about but he is paying much more attention to grades this time around. He said the college adjustment was difficult, as were the morning practices.
"After practice about an hour I'd be good. But after about an hour, that monkey jumps on your back. You get tired," he said. "If they make it that we have to work early in the morning then so be it. But if you ask me I'd like to practice in the afternoons."
As far as his role is concerned, Farmer said he would be willing to play a hybrid running back/wide receiver role because of the Trojans' recent lack of depth at the position. Immediately after the 2011 season the freshman voiced his desire to return to wide receiver.
"I do want to play receiver. Receiver is my natural position but if they were to need help, they already know I'm a team player," Farmer said Thursday. "They can come and ask me if they needed a play or two, even as a decoy or something. I don't have a problem with it.
When asked whether he liked the running back position, he said, "I love it. No matter if I'm at offensive tackle, I just like playing the game of football."
Farmer also said to keep an eye out for D.J. Morgan, who he expects to have a big year in 2012. Morgan, who is running track with players like Tony Burnett and Nickell Robey, said he remembered that O.J. Simpson ran track. He told SCPlaybook that he intends to take both sports very seriously now that he has regained full health.
"Just getting your body in running shape," Morgan said. "You're doing everything when you're running track. I'm taking it seriously, I'm trying to get faster. Since I'm not in football I have to take that seriously like I take football seriously."
Punter Kyle Negrete was as vocal and entertaining as usual. But interesting to note he said he had offseason shoulder surgery on Dec. 19. Doctors repaired a torn labrum that Negrete said he hurt when playing fullback on scout team during the Trojans' season. He said he isn't cleared for contact yet but should be fine by spring ball. Fortunately his legs are in fine shape; he kicked a series of long punts with ease.
Robert Woods, while not cleared for contact, was as much a vocal leader as Matt Barkley Thursday. He led many of his teammates in various drills and made sure the team chemistry was strong by joking around and corralling the guys in a lighthearted way.