Practice Report: Lee and His Longevity

Practice notes from Tuesday (Mar. 27) including Marqise Lee's ability to "go forever," De'Von Flournoy seizing his opportunity, Aundrey Walker becoming more comfortable at left tackle and more.

Just two days after Marqise Lee won the long jump at the Trojan Invitational for the USC track team, he was back on the practice field, excelling in another sport.

Reporters asked head coach Lane Kiffin if the dual sport star might tire, or get burn out, or risk injury. Kiffin quickly said no, citing the word "special" to describe Lee and starting cornerback Nickell Robey.

"Think about what he just did, he won the long jump when everybody else is practicing the long jump all week and doing whatever they do for track and he's out here for a 2 and half hour [football] practice and running sprints afterwards," Kiffin said.

"He's a really unique individual. For whatever reason there's two of them kind of like that, him and Nickell [Robey]. They can just go forever. Doesn't matter how long practice is, doesn't matter what it is. They're just special like that."

After another solid practice Tuesday for Lee, Kiffin repeated a sentiment he's said time and again.

"He could be the best one to ever play here, if he keeps working hard. He does everything. There's not a play he doesn't make. He's as good as they come."

Robert Woods said as a coach on the field he's seen an intensity about Lee that the other receivers don't have. He said they all have a fire, but Lee is perhaps the most serious about his work.

Flournoy Finding Opportunity

But De'Von Flournoy might be a close second in that intensity race. With three receivers unable to play last Saturday in Woods, George Farmer and Lee (who was participating in track), Flournoy said he knows this time is crucial for him to succeed.

"I'm having opportunities that I didn't have before with certain receivers being out. And it's just my job, when my number is called, just to step up," he said.

The veteran receiver noted that while the injuries to his teammates gives him increased playing time, he doesn't like that they are missing spring ball.

"Of course not. I would love to be out here balling with my boys but if my number is called, I'm just running to the huddle and looking at what position I'm at and I'm running what route I'm supposed to run."

Martinez Makes Change

Offensive guard John Martinez has been a silent star this spring. Most players don't shine for consistency, but if one did, it would likely be Martinez who said he's made some big changes in the past year.

"I think the major turnaround from going from the season before, when I didn't start and the season when I did start, I would just say getting in the weight room and getting as much film time as I can because learning the plays," he said.

He realized studying was what separated him from watching rather than playing.

"Honestly the main key to staying on the field [is studying the plays]. Because if you don't know anything then you're not going to be able to get in."

Final Thoughts

Cody Temple will miss the remainder of spring practice with an ankle injury; he will undergo surgery in the near future. Soma Vainuku was out with a back issue, Randall Telfer with a hamstring, Xavier Grimble with that turf toe, Khaled Holmes was limited but did more than last week, still bothered by a calf strain. Cornerback Ryan Henderson remained out with a concussion and Buck Allen is still out with a pulled hamstring.

George Farmer said he was cleared to practice Tuesday but after participating early in the day, he felt tightness that prevented him from finishing the session. He said he is not 100 percent, but also not in pain. He feels a major improvement in the muscle since he first injured it two weeks ago.

"It didn't feel nothing like when I first did it. When I first did it I could barely walk," Farmer said.

It appears as though Aundrey Walker will remain at left tackle, although coaches have said they are still evaluating the position. Walker said he has been upping his amount of left tackle film, mainly focusing on things Matt Kalil did in his time at USC. In his second consecutive week at left, he said he's getting very comfortable at the position.

"Any position I play is meaningful but I'm blocking for the quarterback," he said. "It's the blindside. I'm protecting Matt Barkley's blindside so yeah it's an honor."

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