Monday brought a bit of a surprise to sophomore J.R. Tavai when he learned The Opening day of fall camp that he'd be moving from defensive tackle to defensive end to replace Devon Kennard who is sidelined recovering from surgery to repair his torn pectoral muscle.
"[I] Just found out on the starting day of camp," Tavai explained. "Coaches needed me to replace DK and that's what I did."
Clearly accepting the fact that the coaches believe his talent will best be served playing defensive end, Tavai says the challenge now is to learn the role.
"Just learning the playbook," he explained. "I get to drop now, so that's pretty fun, turn into a linebacker, I enjoy that."
Despite the unwavering fact that the defensive line is an area of concern for Kiffin, Tavai holds steady that he and his teammates will prepare the right way and will not focus on speculation about the lack of depth on the line.
Tavai spent a small amount of time last season playing left defensive end.
Tough Breaks for Farmer
Sophomore receiver George Farmer did not participate in Tuesday evening's practice.
Farmer re-aggravated the hamstring that has caused him problems since March. The injury comes at a crucial time as Farmer should be battling for the third receiving position behind Robert Woods and Marqise Lee.
"He hasn't been able to [stay healthy] yet since he's been here unfortunately," said head coach Lane Kiffin. "It's not his fault, it's just hard to develop guys, it's hard to figure out how they can help you when they don't stay healthy very long."
Morgan Making His Way
With all of the buzz surrounding Silas Redd's transfer to USC it may be easy to forget about the potential of redshirt sophomore tailback D.J. Morgan, but Kiffin said Tuesday evening that won't be the case.
"I think DJ Morgan looks improved," said Kiffin. "I think DJ Morgan has handled [the transfer of Redd] really well."
Morgan continued to get reps in on day two of fall camp and even broke for daylight a couple of times.
"I think DJ hears from a lot of people that he's the odd man out," Kiffin explained, "which is not the case, so it's good to see the way he's responded."
As redshirt freshman in 2011, Morgan started the first two games before moving to a backup role.
Junior receiver Robert Woods participated in more drills than day one of camp, however he remains limited during workouts.
Senior center Khaled Holmes did not participate in most of Tuesday evening's practice. Wearing tennis shoes, Holmes only snapped the ball during passing drills.
Redshirt freshman fullback Soma Vainuku got in a handful of carries during 11 on 11 drills. Kiffin said he's a second year guy who has really developed.
There will be no updates on academic situations for at least another week when summer school grades are expected to start coming out.