Spring Ball Day 10

The Trojans held their final practice before the Huddle and they worked on the proper way to come on the field for warm-ups, a lot of punt team work, the Hail Mary pass and the two minute offense.

The Trojans held their final practice before the Huddle and they worked on the proper way to come on the field for warm-ups, a lot of punt team work, the Hail Mary pass and the two minute offense.

At the beginning of practice Pete Carroll had the team gather in the corner of the end zone before coming on to the field in warm-up lines. The team usually stretches on Brian Kennedy Field but today they spread out on Howard Jones Field in much the same manner as they do on game days. Right before stretching began John David Booty ran over to the sideline to say hello to his father, Johnny, and brother Josh.

Once the warm-ups were over the team began doing some punt team work and the first thing noticeable was the fact that both Darnell Bing and Justin Wyatt were back fielding some kicks. Darnell actually went through some of the team drills later in the day while Wyatt sat out the remainder of practice. It was good to see the two of them back on the field, even in a limited capacity. In the punt drills there was a lot of live coverage work as returners like Bush and Carlson returned kicks, Reggie is so special in this area with a gear that few other players have. A comparison was made during practice to Johnny Rodgers, the former Nebraska Heisman winner, and Reggie certainly has the moves and speed to warrant that kind of talk. The team also worked on a new drill that we hadn't seen before where each player on the punt coverage team makes a block and hustles downfield before the next player takes his turn.

The quarterbacks and receivers gathered at midfield after the punt drills to work on their Hail Mary passes. Three or four receivers would be sent downfield while the quarterbacks tried to loft the ball high in the air to land within the end zone.

In the team drill, the best play of the day was turned in by Fred Davis on a beautiful hook-up with John David Booty. With the ball on the 30, Davis ran a deep pattern along the sideline while John David lofted it over his shoulder and Fred looked the ball into his hands before racing for the 70 yard touchdown.

Some other highlights included:

* Greig Carlson went up high to make the 2nd best catch of the day on a pass from Rocky Hinds.

* Keith Rivers stuffed several runs at the line and chased down Desmond Reed on a sweep play. One former SC player said Rivers is physically resembling Chip Banks in terms of size and his mannerisms on the field.

* Reed got a lot of action running the ball and he was hitting the hole quickly.

* Hinds showed good patience on one play by standing in the pocket before lofting a deep pass to Smith along the sideline for a 27 yard gain.

* Thomas Williams came in for a sack on Booty but John David stayed with the play and hit Bush in stride just a step ahead of Rivers.

During the two-minute drill session to end the day, Booty led two drives and Hinds led one. On the first drive John David completed three passes; one each to Bush, Smith and Buchanon but the drive stalled and the Hail Mary attempt failed. Hinds came on and completed the best play of the session with an out pattern to Whitney Lewis who brought the ball in just before heading out of bounds, it was good concentration from Whitney and a nice ball from Rocky. After that Reed broke free and was heading for a long gain in open field but he tripped over his own feet after ten yards. Hinds threw a quick pass to Reed and then another to Lewis but his next pass was intercepted in the end zone by Brandon Ting. Booty brought the first unit back on the field and his first play was a throw to Kirtman followed by a run by Kirtman behind a pulling block from Fred Matua. Sed Ellis had a sack to force a 30 yard FG with time running out by Mario Danelo and the kick was good.

Among the guests in attendance were Mark Sanchez, Walker Lee Ashley, Averell Spicer, Nick Howell, Troy Van Blarcom, Pat Howell, St Paul coach Marijon Ancich, Beverly Hills coach Carter Paysinger and his son Spencer, a potential LB recruit for the Trojans. NFL.com columnist and Carroll friend Pat Kirwan also made his usual spring ball appearance despite a hectic schedule leading up to the draft.


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