One player who has put together a solid week of practice is sophomore tight end Fred Davis, who is weighing in these days at 230 pounds and is starting to show the kind of playmaking ability that made him one of the most highly touted recruits in the country last year. Davis has been making catches, today he had a real nice one handed grab, and he is moving well and doing it with a positive, upbeat attitude. We need for someone to step up at tight end this spring and so far Davis and Dale Thompson have been the top performers.
Chauncey Washington also continues to shine in extended action. Chauncey broke off yet another 50 yard touchdown run (he's done it every day this spring) and he even showcased some shake moves to elude a pair of would be tacklers on one play.
Other highlights during the day included:
* Rocky Hinds hit Brandon Hancock with a swing pass out of the backfield and Terrell Thomas came up to put a nice lick on Hancock but Brandon bounced off and kept going for extra yardage.
* Walk-on Andre Woodert, who only gets limited carries with so many other talented RB's, is running well and could play for a lot of college football programs. Woodert got additional carries today with the absence of Michael Coleman (there was no reason given for Coleman's absence).
* John David Booty had one of the best throws of the day with a 20 yard hook to Davis.
* Chauncey had a long run in a 9 on 7 drill behind a block from Kyle Williams at LT.
* Thomas Williams had a solid tackle on Chauncey when he drug him down trying to turn the corner.
* Matt Leinart and Justin Wyatt were working on the sidelines with resistance rubber bands (Chris Carlisle discussed the rubber bands in our recent WeAreSC interview as an added component to the training regiment). Leinart was training under the watchful eye of the noted Dr. Robert Watkins.
I spent some time watching the linemen doing their one on one drills and on this day the offensive linemen definitely got the better of the defensive linemen. The one thing that is noticeable with the new line coaches is that there seems to be a lot of technique teaching going on, there is not as much volume but the coaches do pick and choose their spots to make themselves heard. Here are the highlights:
- Rashaad Goodrum got things started in the drill by knocking Winston Justice off balance with a solid pop and Goodrum raced with ease to the QB.
- Chilo Rachal did a terrific job of physically controlling Lawrence Miles. Chilo drove Lawrence to the ground on one play and Coach Ruel came over to shake his hand for the effort.
- Drew Radovich stopped Fili Moala in his tracks on two plays in a row.
- Kyle Williams did well against Travis Tofi, Matt Spanos stopped Travis Draper.
- Some good battles took place when Justice and Lawrence Jackson were matched up as Lawrence might be our most talented overall defensive lineman right now.
- LaJuan Ramsey beat Fred Matua with a powerful move.
- Thomas Herring looked a little slow adjusting to the footwork needed for this drill but there's no doubt Thomas has the size to succeed at the position.
As usual, the Trojans ended the practice with a team scrimmage situation and there were many highlight plays.
* Scott Ware got things going with a big-time pop on Nick Vanderboom after a completion near the sideline.
* Collin Ashton came on a blitz and knocked the ball out of Booty's hands.
* Rocky Hinds completed a 10 yard pass to Fred Davis.
* Oscar Lua had a nice play when he corralled David Kirtman for a short gain.
* Josh Pinkard read a reverse and came up to hold the play to no gain.
* Chauncey Washington took a handoff and headed left behind Kyle Williams, Chauncey hit the hole and exploded down the sideline for a 50 yard score.
* Lawrence Jackson fought off a block attempt by Whitney Lewis at the line and got his hands up to block the pass attempt from Hinds who was trying to dump the ball to Lewis.
* Brandon Hancock took the carry from the TB spot and got 11 yards behind a block from Rachal.
* Davis made another excellent catch when he went up high to bring in the ball and he was met with a solid hit by Terrell Thomas.
* Kevin Ellison had a noticeable play when he came up to pop Washington on a screen pass.
* Chauncey came right back with another screen and put two shake moves on the linebackers to gain an extra 8 yards.
* Ryan Powdrell chased down David Kirtman at the sidelines for no gain.
* Hinds ended the day with a well thrown ball to Will Buchanon who caught it on the run and raced 45 yards for the score.
Among the guests in attendance today were Mark Sanchez, Brian Cushing, Lynn Cain (former USC RB), Jonas Mouton (Venice DB), Jovon Hayes (Dorsey OL), Marvin Johnson (Dominguez DB), Sonny Tevaga (Dominguez OL), Marcus Broxie (Middleton FL, LB) and Ira Guilford (Hoboken NJ, Ohio State, RB/S).