Fall Camp Day 5

There was a lot of intensity this morning as the Trojans put on pads for the first time and there was a lot of good contact. The defense had their second good day in a row as the coaches put in more defensive alignments.

The first special teams drills of the practice focused on kickoff coverage and there was a lot of attention paid to to the small details such as taking the proper angle or getting the proper spacing from the person running downfield next to you. It's hard not to notice the two graduate assistants in these special teams drills, Sam Anno and Dave Watson, as both are very vocal and bring the type of intensity which fits in perfectly with the rest of the staff. Anno is a former Trojan star LB who has long dreamed of coaching at USC while Watson is the former HS tight end for Lane Kiffin who was coaching at a lower level college when the Trojans came calling last year.

In the wide receiver drills Kiffin spent a lot of time making sure his receiver routes were crisp by coming back to the quarterback and he wanted his receivers staying low out of their breaks. It was great to see Patrick Turner out there for the full practice, more on him later.

When the team moved to Brian Kennedy Field for the opening run drills there was a lot of anticipation as this was the first real opportunity for some contact in full pads. Reggie got things started by getting outside the right tackle and Justin Wyatt came up to drive him out of bounds with a solid hit. A toss sweep to Desmond Reed gained good yardage, a couple plays later Frostee Rucker recovered a fumbled snap. Keith Rivers came up to stuff an Andre Woodert run up the middle. Reed took another handoff and did a good job to fake out Rucker at the line but Powdrell was there quickly to fill the gap and hold the play to no gain. John Walker had one of the best plays of the drill when he fought off the block attempt from Whitney Lewis at the line and got Reed behind the line of scrimmage for a two yard loss. Reed followed that up with a run that got into the secondary for a 23 yard pick-up. Dallas Sartz made a terrific read on a reverse as he waited in his spot and the play came right to him. The final play of the drill was a swing pass out of thebackfield from Matt Leinart to David Kirtman for a touchdown as Kirtman got behind Collin Ashton.

The team moved to Howard Jones Field for an 11 on 11 drill that got started with a screen to Reggie for 11 yards. Powdrell made a big stop on a Woodert run up the middle, Ryan is a physical run stuffing linebacker and you can tell the impact it makes when he puts on the pads. The biggest hit of the day came a few plays later when Greig Carlson caught a pass over the middle and Ryan Ting just lit him up. Leinart followed that up with a long completion to Dwayne Jarrett along the sideline. John Walker got an interception, John is looking very solid right now and the nickel back job appears to be his to lose.

In the team drill, Leinart dropped back on the first play and threw high to Turner and the big freshman went up and got the ball for a 20 yard gain. John David Booty came in a few plays later and had nice completions to Steve Smith dragging across the middle and Turner on a deep comeback pattern that was nicely executed despite good coverage from Walker. When Turner made the catch Walker was coming in for the tackle and Patrick ducked his 6-5 frame causing John to go right over the top. Rivers and Rashaad Goodrum had back to back sacks. John David continued his nice drive by hitting Reed in the open field with a screen pass that went for 27 yards. Mark Sanchez came on and led the first of two long drives. On the opening play of his first drive, Sanchez hit Jimmy Miller and Jimmy got extra yardage thanks in large part to a terrific block on Jerry Williams by Fred Davis. Sanchez rewarded Fred by coming right back to him on the next play for a 13 yard gain. A Sanchez to Turner hook-up brought the ball inside the ten yard line and Woodert ran it in from there for the score. On his second drive, Sanchez had a long completion to Turner and Kirtman provided a run to get the ball inside the five. It was impressive to see Sanchez lead the team like that.

Other notes:

* Kirtman is serving as the signal caller for the punt team.

* A trio of freshman (Kevin Thomas, Will Harris and Kaluka Maiava) spent the practice doing various punishment drills on the sidelines.

* Darnell Bing had a sack.

* Today is picture day for the Trojans as the team was headed for the showers after practice and then will put on game uniforms for the photo session.

Matt Leinart

Scott Ware on kickoff coverage

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