The Trojans got a scare early during an extended scrimmage when Justin Fargas went down after running up the middle and stayed on the ground for several minutes while the trainers attended to his right knee. He eventually got up and jogged off the field but it was a definite worry.
In the punt drills to start the day, which have quickly become a fan favorite to watch thanks to Tom Malone, the freshman once again put on a show as his hangtime is absolutely so impressive to see. He was timed in several kicks on Tuesday at 5.2 seconds of hangtime and last season Mike MacGillivray was usually around 4.2 seconds so it's obvious that Tom can put the ball in the air. It is also his birthday on Friday so Happy Birthday to Tom from the Trojan Family.
There were a few nice plays in some of the early drills of practice. Chad Pierson had a fantastic block against Melvin Simmons in a RB/LB blocking drill but Sultan McCullough didn't perform well enough for Kennedy Pola on one play and had to run the length of the field and back while doing up/downs every five yards as punishment.
The team moved to Brian Kennedy Field for a run drill that started with Fargas taking a handoff but Aaron Graham, who had a very solid day, came in and hit him hard behind the line for a loss. McCullough went to the left side for a 15 yard gain before Marcell Allmond caught him and threw him down hard on the tackle. Lee Webb put a big lick on Fargas and then Shaun Cody came on one play and dragged Sultan down along the line of scrimmage. Jason Leach got into the act after Fargas broke through the line of scrimmage by coming up for a solid hit and then Darryl Poston put on a very nice run to the outside before Leach came and aggressively knocked him out of bounds.
In a 7 on 7 passing drill Alex Holmes made a catch as he continues to be a dependable pass catcher and then Keary Colbert went for the ball on a quick pass but Darrell Rideaux read the play well and knocked the ball out of his hands. Rideaux received praise from Pete Carroll after practice for his speed and the way he has prepared himself for the challenge of competing for an open spot by always being around the ball. Billy Hart hit Kareem on a quick pass that Kareem turned up field for a 12 yard TD pass.
The day ended with an 11 on 11 scrimmage that started with the unfortunate run by Fargas. The reality of football is that with Fargas laying on the ground the team simply changed directions on the field and continued with the drill. Carson rolled out and hit Colbert with a nice pass and then Cassel, who had his best day of the spring, made a nice strong throw to Mattos. The team continues to experiment with different combinations on the offensive line and today we saw Rogers at LT, Vandermade at LG, Katnik at C, Zach Wilson at RG and Nate Steinbacher at RT. Steinbacher is in the best shape of his Trojan career and he knows this is a critical spring for him to step up if he wants to earn some serious playing time. Carroll said they will continue to look at different combinations on the line with a goal of settling on a group by the Trojan Huddle. Matt Leinart threw a pass to Sultan but Graham made a real nice play and stopped it for a short gain. Carson had a nice escape from a Cody rush and was able to buy enough time for Mattos to get open for a 12 yard gain. Poston had another nice run as he has really shown improvement. Sultan went to the outside and Polamalu came up and knocked his helmet off in the process of tackling Sultan which brought Pola off the sidelines yelling at Sultan to put his helmet back on. Sultan went up the middle and was met with a ferocious hit from Melvin Simmons but on the next play Steinbacher blocked down on the line and Sultan followed the wide open hole for a score. Billy Hart later threw a short TD pass to Gregg Guenther.
David Davis looked good on several field goals as he continues to recover from off season surgery to correct bone spurs in his plant foot which affected his performance at the end of last season.
Among the visitors to practice today were Manuel Wright, Winston Justice, Fred Matua, Steve Stevenson, Willie McGinest, Craig Gibson, Marvin Simmons, Brandon Hance, WR recruit B.J. Vickers from Venice HS and OL commit Kurt Katnik.
Spring Ball Day 4
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