Thursday practice tidbits

There was a lot of special teams work and some increased hitting today as the Trojans continued with their Rose Bowl preparations.

During kickoff coverage drills we saw LB coach Ken Norton hustling down with the coverage team to show proper lanes and later we saw Pete Carroll get blocked on the coverage team by Rey Maualuga. Carroll was also active during some of the skeleton drills when he stepped in at quarterback although the defense did well against him with Ryan Ting, Kevin Thomas and Brian Cushing all batting down passes from their coach.

One of the bright spots of bowl practices so far has been the service team work of Michael Coleman who has really been bringing it with the ball in his hands. The coaches wanted a hard hitting practice today and Coleman helped deliver that with some strong runs and good contact upon the tackle. We saw Keith Rivers deliver a good blow to Coleman and later Coleman and Lua had a solid collision for the tackle. It's impressive to see this from Coleman after he has missed so much time this fall due to injury.

The team boarded buses this afternoon for a holiday BBQ before holding their final practice of the week tomorrow morning. The players will take the holiday weekend off before returning next week for the complete round of bowl activities. One thing we've noticed so far on the practice field is the fact that this routine is so, well, routine for the Trojans. They know how to get ready for bowl games, they know how to get ready for national championship games, they know how to get ready for Rose Bowls. There is a very familiar pattern right now and the team seems extremely comfortable with what they are doing.

As was reported earlier, the Trojans will pick up their recruitment of Taft HS star Jamere Holland. The interest in Holland is on either side of the ball, receiver or corner, and it picked up after Percy Harvin announced for Florida earlier this week. The Trojans will definitely continue to pursue Harvin but they will go after Holland as well. Jamere is the defending California state champ in both the 100 and 200, he recently re-took his qualifying tests but it's not clear at this point if his scores will qualify him for admission to USC.

Pete Carroll was pleased after practice to talk about the latest round of APR scores that came in for the fall semester. More on that later today.


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