2 freshman arrivals for USC

Rookies Iman Marshall, Dominic Davis show up -- one on each side of the football -- Monday.

Monday was the day Iman Marshall arrived. And so did freshman running back Dominic Davis.

Time and again, Marshall, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound incoming freshman corner they call "Biggie" went against talented wide receivers from Long Beach Poly fellow alum Juju Smith to rookie classmate Deontay Burnett.

As for Davis, the freshman from Alemany, it was literally his first time out and the looked like he belonged catching the ball and running it. He also looked bigger than the 175 pounds he's listed at.

On these early nights, rookie DBs like Marshall often just try to survive. But "Biggie" thrived in his fourth workout of the summer. From winning a tug-of-war in the air against Burnett to jumping a route on Smith, Marshall came away with three picks in a confident, physical, challenging effort.

No question, his ability to cover at this level as a big, big corner has been one of the major questions about the incoming freshmen. What that means in enabling Adoree Jackson to take more offensive snaps could have a big impact on this team this fall.

Looks like we're starting to get that answer. And as much as these workouts are called "throwing sessions," the defensive part of whats happening here might be -- for this team -- even more important.

The ability of safeties Leon McQuay, John Plattenburg, Chris Hawkins, Matt Lopes, Ykili Ross and Marvel Tell to line up next to corners Kevon Seymour, Jonathan Lockett and Marshall along with Jackson when he's allowed to go and do so again and again this summer against the offensive talent USC can throw at them is key.

So is the ability of USC's linebacker corps -- bigger, deeper and younger, more talented -- to also be integrated into the pass defense schemes. So far, the way Lamar Dawson and Cameron Smith have looked inside with four Pick-Sixes between them (three for senior Dawson, one for the freshman Smith), so good.

Quick take on 7th summer throwing session Monday


As the only "brand new" incoming freshman here, Davis got lots of work at running back carrying the ball and catching it. And he fit right in. Strong looking runner with excellent acceleration, as expected, but looked a little bigger, stronger than on his high school video and seemed to work his way into things quickly for his first night in pads . . . Another freshman, Tell, also got more action as a safety. Looks taller than his listed 6-2 . . . Another inoming freshman -- Porter Gustin at RUSH end/OLB along with defensive tackles Jacob Daniel and Noah Jefferson -- getting more work . . . Gustin doesn't seem limited now by his knee issue . . . Freshman Aca'cedric Ware keeps making plays running and catching the ball in coverage . . . looks like he could play which shouldn't be a surprise . . . Kessler's accuracy remains eye-popping this summer . . . Another Pick-Six INT for Dawson who jumps routes the way you'd hope a fifth-year senior MLB would be able to do . . . this one came against freshman Sam Darnold, who also had a leaping DE Malik Dorton pick one off two-handed from about five feet away on a beautifully timed rush and leap . . . Looked like maybe 72 players in all here with O-linemen Viane Talamaivao, Toa Lobendahn and QB Max Browne not here . . . a total of 29 players, including both freshman QBs and Kessler, most of the wide receivers and TEs and a number of DBs, stayed for extra work after the 75-minute throwing session . . . Lots of one on one deep balls and Jugs machine work.

CHECK THIS OUT: For more details and play-by-play on Monday's workout, check out MONDAY SUMMER THROWING SESSION 7 GHOST NOTES.

You can follow me on Twitter at @dweber3440 or email me at weber@uscfootball.com.


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