Fall Camp Day One - morning session

It seems like it's been forever since the Trojans were on the field so that made it all the better to watch the defending national champs take the field this morning.The players were out early in anticipation of the first practice and the coaches were very animated as they look to set the tone that this will not be a team that rests on their laurels. The veterans practiced this morning with the newcomers and selected redshirt freshmen practicing this afternoon.

Here's some highlights from the morning practice:

* Collin Ashton was awarded a scholarship last night.

* John Drake was one of the first players I saw on the field. It's good to see big John out there and today he saw a lot of reps at left tackle along with Sam Baker.

* Fili Moala will wear #91, Rashaad Goodrum will wear #44 and both were out there watching today. Derrick Jones was also in attendance although he will practice this afternoon (there had been some questions on the board recently about his eligibility). Jimmy Miller wore a red jersey to indicate that he will be at tight end this afternoon.

* Fred Matua wore #51.

* Brandon Hancock was also in attendance and dressed but he did not go through any of the drills.

* Fred Davis spent the practice running the sidelines and riding the bike after arriving late to campus for check-in yesterday.

* It was confirmed that Whitney and Chauncey will not be at USC this fall. There were no set details although it's believed that both will attend JC.

* Dominique Byrd spent the practice riding the stationary bike along the sideline.

* Among the recruits in attendance were Mark Sanchez (Matt Cassel spent the practice with him and Rocky Hinds), Cary Harris and Kevin Thomas.

* Thomas Williams had a nice interception in an early drill.

* Chris McFoy had a solid practice in his bid to make a strong impression now that there might be some extra balls available for the younger receivers. Chris went up high for a pass from Booty and later went down the middle with a good catch.

* Darnell Bing had a pick.

* Matt Leinart, John David Booty and Mike McDonald handled the QB duties with Cassel, Hance and Hinds scheduled to work the afternoon session. Leinart got most of the work and was sharp with his touch passes. He threw mostly shorter routes today.

* A run drill was held on the new Field Turf section of Howard Jones Field. LenDale White got around the corner on one play to show some improved speed, it's hard to judge LenDale without pads on since power running is such a big part of his game but he looked pretty good in these non-contact drills. Reggie Bush put on the move of the day when he shook Bing and left him grasping at air. Bush also made Shaun Cody miss with a tackle later in the drill. Manuel Wright had a good first practice, he arrived a little late but quickly made his presence known by filling up the middle. Travis Tofi played both end and tackle and looked pretty mobile. Drake manhandled Chris Barrett to help spring a run by Hershel Dennis. One of the hardest hits of the day came when the drill ended as Oscar Lua headed to the next drill but didn't see OL coach Tim Davis coming from the side and Lua ran right into Davis and knocked him down, Davis quickly got back up and went into hitting position to show that he was ready to go.

* The next drill on Howard Jones Field was a passing scrimmage and it got started with Wright knocking down a pass at the line of scrimmage. Manny looks good so far. Leinart tried to hit Dennis with a screen but the ball was bobbled and Dallas Sartz came up to make the pick. Leinart hit Mike Williams with a short pass. Matt then threw probably his best deep ball of the day with a touch pass on a fade route to Steve Smith over good coverage from Justin Wyatt. Manny Wright got into the backfield to hold Reggie to a short gain on a screen. Leinart threw to Carlson in the flat but Matt Grootegoed reached out to knock the ball away. Booty completed a deep pass to Williams along the sideline.

* Ryan Killeen got a lot of field goal work. He made several long kicks and then they worked a lot of simple snaps and protection schemes.

* An 11 on 11 scrimmage ended the practice. Sedrick Ellis beat Travis Watkins for a sack. Lawrence Jackson batted down a pass. A Hershel Dennis run was stopped behind the line by Bing. Leinart tried to dump a pass to Alex Holmes but Groots made another good play to knock the ball away again. Sartz stopped Bush for a short gain on a screen pass. Dennis had his best run of the day when he went up the middle and put a shake move on the defender to gain more yardage. Bush followed that with another big gain up the middle, he is so exciting to watch. Leinart tried to hit Williams with good coverage from Kevin Arbet and Arbet was able to tip the ball and Ryan Ting got the interception. Arbet was pretty physical in his coverage of Williams and that was good to see from Kevin. Williams came right back a couple plays later and used his big frame to get separation from Ronald Nunn for a nice pick-up along the sideline. Oscar Lua came up strong to stop a short run from LenDale.


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