The highlight performances of the day were turned in by John David Booty, Reggie Bush, Dwayne Jarrett, Keith Rivers and even Darnell Bing. It was great to see Darnell back out there patrolling from his safety spot and even though he didn't have any big impact hits he was responsible for at least two dropped passes where receivers were coming across the middle and they would've taken a huge shot from Bing if he was in full contact mode. On one of the plays Steve Smith lost his shoe while trying to avoid the contact.
The passing game, particularly with Booty, looked pretty sharp today as he was hitting mid-range passes with regularity. Jarrett was a favorite target as Dwayne makes it look so easy while extending his arms to make the play. Dwayne sat out the Huddle with a sore groin but today, with his mother watching from the sidelines, he showed no effects of the injury and turned in one of his best practices of the spring. He was running the slant route with precision and Booty was putting the ball right on target.
Reggie also had a big day catching the ball. His best catch, and possibly the top play of the day, came on a deep pass down the left sideline where he ran under a Booty pass and juggled it as he came down barely inside the cone for the touchdown. Reggie also had a pretty play when he caught a screen pass from Booty and faked out LaJuan Ramsey in the backfield, Reggie ran a few more yards and came across Oscar Lua, he faked out Oscar and continued on for a 12 yard gain.
Keith Rivers had his biggest play during a run drill on Brian Kennedy Field and it came against Reggie as Bush tried a sweep to the left and Keith just came flying over in pursuit to make the solid contact. Wow, it was one of those eye-opening plays that Rivers is starting to make with consistency. Keith also ran down Chris McFoy after a short pass in the flat.
The offense worked a lot on picking up blitzes. On one series they faced the blitz over and over with the quarterbacks looking to make the proper read. We saw a couple good blocks from Bush, Ryan Kalil and Jimmy Miller.
Other standout efforts during practice included:
* Andre Woodert sprinted through the middle of the defense in the team drill and raced for a 45 yard touchdown. Andre is noticeably bulked-up this year.
* Booty hit Smith for a 23 yard pick up against coverage from Brandon Ting.
* Clay Matthews stripped Rocky Hinds on a blitz.
* Hinds hit Smith thanks to the block by Bush on Thomas Williams.
* Collin Ashton blitzed and Rocky, who had time thanks to the Miller block on Jerry Williams, calmly dumped the pass to Jody Adewale.
* Jim Abbott knocked away a deep pass for Bush from Hinds that was underthrown.
* Dale Thompson caught a short pass from Hinds and fought off a tackle attempt from Abbott along the sideline to gain extra yardage before Thomas Williams came over and drove him out of bounds.
* The best coaching play of the day came when Matthews tipped a Hinds pass and it landed in the arms of TE coach Brennan Carroll. Brennan, a former TE himself at Pittsburgh, immediately headed upfield with the ball but when he came across a defender he turned into an option QB and pitched the ball to Duece Lutui.
* Mario Danelo made three kicks in a row (22, 28 and 3 . Phil Mellinger missed from 48 yards.
* Terrell Thomas had a strip of Bush during a run drill. Terrell later had a pick off a tipped pass from Booty to McFoy.
* Desmond Reed had a beautiful run during the run drill where he stopped and changed direction without a defender laying a hand on him and got six yards when it should have been a loss.
* David Kirtman had a long run in the run drill thanks in part to a block on the outside by Chris McFoy.
* Josh Pinkard had a terrific hit on Kirtman.
The Antelope Valley Antelopes had several players in attendance including top recruit Andre Crenshaw.
There has been a lot of buzz about Jerry Williams, the walk-on corner who performed well at the Trojan Huddle. He and his identical twin brother, Jamel, transferred to USC this past spring after spending two years at Antelope Valley College. They graduated from Highland HS in Palmdale in 2002. After last season they had scholarship offers from Boise State and Youngstown State but elected to walk-on at USC after talking with their friend Justin Wyatt. Justin had grown up in the Palmdale area and told the twins that the Trojans had a lack of depth at the corner spot and there was an opportunity for them to come in and make an impact. They are both 5-10, 175 and they will major in business at USC. Jerry wears #30 while Jamel wears #35. Their uncle, Henry Williams, played at UCLA and Long Beach State in the 1970's. The twins always wanted to attend USC and when the opportunity presented itself they jumped on it.