Fall Camp Day 4

Monday will be the first practice in full pads for the Trojans and you can tell the team is ready to hit, especially the defense as the D had perhaps their best day of the early part of camp.

The defense held their own Sunday afternoon in the run drill which has been dominated in recent days by the offense. Frostee Rucker had the big play in the drill when he slid down the line of scrimmage and tackled Reggie Bush just as Reggie was about to pop loose for another long gain. Thomas Williams had a good play earlier in the drill with an arm tackle on Reggie. Desmond Reed had a couple nice runs for the offense.

Reggie Bush is one player ready for the physical play as he demonstrated several times today. In the one on one RB/LB pass blocking drills Reggie did an outstanding job going up against Keith Rivers. Later in the day Reggie took a handoff in the team drill and when he got through the line he found himself face to face with Rivers and Reggie simply lowered his shoulder and drove Keith back as the tackle was made. Reggie added muscle in the off-season and is now at 203 pounds.

The biggest hit of the day, without a doubt, came courtesy of Greig Carlson. Mark Sanchez threw a deep ball over the middle that was picked off by Clay Matthews who began his return and started pointing to his blockers to clear a path. Clay forgot to look behind him for the receiver and Carlson came out of nowhere to absolutely level him. It brought loud cheers from his teammates who ran downfield to mob Carlson.

The other big hits today came courtesy of Scott Ware and when Ware starts hitting it must mean it's time for the pads to come on. The recepient of both his big pops was Jimmy Miller and to his credit Jimmy hung on to both passes.

The play of the young tight ends has been a bright spot in the early days of camp. Miller has been making his share of catches, as has Fred Davis, Dale Thompson and Nick Vanderboom. Dominique Byrd is expected back this week so the Trojans should be in very good shape at that spot.

The final team drill featured a lot of blitzing and nickel defenses and it also saw Matt Leinart pick most of those defenses apart. Matt made one great read when he saw freshman safety Will Harris creep up a little too close to the line, Matt called the audible and his receiver (Whitney Lewis) ran a deep in pattern to the spot vacated by Harris. It was executed perfectly by Leinart. Matt dropped in a beatiful pass to Jimmy Miller on the 2nd big hit by Ware, Miller was outrunning the linebacker and Matt dropped it over his outside shoulder just before Ware arrived. Matt also hit Desmond Reed for a 35 yard pick-up. Josh Pinkard, Terrell Thomas and Sedrick Ellis (two) all had sacks in this drill. Terrell also had a very nice open field tackle on Andre Woodert.

Other notes:

* LenDale White and Alex Gomez sat out the majority of practice. White had his left shoe off while he spent the day in the trainers tent but after the practice he said he is fine. Gomez had an ice pack on his left ankle.

* Recruits Jonas Mouton and Keith Browner were in attendance.

* Deuce Lutui saw action at RT, RG and LG today.

* Fred Matua was seen practicing some snaps at center so he could get a look there as a possible back-up to Kalil if needed.

* LaJuan Ramsey had a big hit on Chris McFoy after Chris had caught a short pass and was reversing his field until Ramsey came over to make the stop.

* Frostee Rucker was seen working with Kyle Moore during the one on one drills on his hand positioning while rushing the passer. Kyle then went out and put the move on Nick Howell to get by him and sack the QB.

* In the kicking portion of the practice Josh Pinkard blocked a Mario Danelo attempt. Troy Van Blarcom nailed a 38 yard kick.

* Tom Malone is sitting out early practices to rest a hip flexor. He said it hurts a little, nothing serious, and there's no sense rushing it early in camp.

* Happy Birthday to Chris Carlisle, the Trojan strength and conditioning coach who received birthday wishes from the team after practice.

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