Wednesday practice report

It was a strange sight seeing some of the position changes that took place this week for the Trojans:

Matt Cassel was wearing his familiar #10 but it was without the traditional yellow jersey that is normally worn by the quarterbacks. Matt was jogging from drill to drill at one point with the quarterbacks and it was odd to see him suddenly break away and head in the direction of the tight ends. There is little doubt that Matt will be able to adjust to the pass catching duties at his new position but it remains to be seen how he will handle the physical demands of blocking. Matt has the mentality to be a good blocker, in high school he was a solid linebacker, and how quickly he adjusts to those demands will go a long way in determining how much of an impact he will make.

Justin Wyatt and William Buchanan already look more comfortable at their new spots than they ever did at their old spots. Maybe that's because each is returning to his original position. Wyatt had a nice interception where he used his hands to go up and get a pass intended for Chris McFoy and it's ironic because his shaky hands were one of the major problems with Wyatt being able to make a consistent impact on offense. Buchanan was very aggressive and was able to show off the increased speed that we heard so much about from his off-season conditioning. Instead of running backwards as a corner he was able to use his long stride to get downfield and he was underthrown on a couple deep balls as the quarterbacks adjust to his speed. William has the lanky frame and long arms to be effective at some point and we need someone to step into that #3 receiver role. Steve Smith has been solid when called upon but there is opportunity right now as well for Buchanan, McFoy and Whitney Lewis to earn some playing time.

Thomas Herring was in attendance once again at practice. There are reports that he may leave the state for college but Herring has been a regular visitor to Trojan practice over the past year and it's obvious that he has a real comfortable relationship with the USC coaches and program....This Washington game could be key in regards to recruiting, particularly with the top two choices on the USC QB wish list. Matt Tuiasosopo has been considering USC along with Washington and UCLA although there are rumors that Matt may be leaning toward either the Huskies or Bruins at this point. Rocky Hinds also has both the Trojans and Huskies on his short list, along with Notre Dame and UCLA, and his decision could also impact fellow recruits Michael Bumpus and Jaison Williams. The trio are friends and would be interested in attending the same college if it works out that way.....Among the other visitors to practice included Craig Gibson, Jason Grain, Paul McDonald, Jim Hardy, Martin French and Martin Chesley.....Reggie Bush had two spectacular moves on two different run plays that left defenders grasping for air. The first one was a run to the outside that Lawrence Jackson thought he had stopped until Reggie cut quickly and broke to the middle for a long gain. The second run went between the tackles with Collin Ashton thinking he had a solid shot before Reggie gave a couple quick moves to pick up more yardage. It's a special back who can make defenders miss like he does....The Trojan run game is really going with a lot of confidence right now. You can see it with all the running backs and with the offensive line as they are paying a lot of attention to the run blocking these days. All three of the top tailbacks had good days yesterday and even Chauncey Washington broke a nice run.....One of the comments that has been put upon Matt Leinart for his play to this point has been his ability to throw the ball away when a play breaks down. This is especially important in the Norm Chow offense with the ability to strike at any time so it's vital not to turn the ball over while trying to make a dramatic play. If the play isn't there, throw the ball away and try again on the next play.....Jacob Rogers went through some early drills but did not take part in the full practice. Matt Grootegoed did not practice and Omar Nazel and Manuel Wright were both on the sidelines for the defensive line.


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