Spring Ball Day 1

The Trojans got things started today for spring drills with a solid day of practice that included appearances by a few injured players who were not expected to see any time during the spring.

To start with the quarterback spot, the day began slowly for both John David Booty and Mark Sanchez but things picked up as the day went along and both had some nice moments during the team drills at the end of the practice. One thing we definitely noticed today was more roll outs and throwing on the run than we normally saw with Leinart at QB. John David was particularly sharp hitting some underneath routes and slants. Sanchez hit a few more deep passes including early completions to Dale Thompson, Gerald Washington and Chris McFoy.

At running back, we didn't see Hershel Dennis going through any drills as he is slowed by a hamstring injury and could miss up to a week of action. We mostly saw Brandon Hancock, Jody Adewale and even Ryan Powdrell carrying the ball with Whitney Lewis getting some touches as well. Hancock and Adewale got the majority of the work, we know what Brandon can do but it was Adewale who opened up some eyes with his ability with the ball in his hands. He had one run up the middle behind Ryan Kalil that went for a big gain and he also caught a couple passes in the flat from Sanchez. Powdrell had one run where he bowled past Walker Ashley. Michael Coleman and Desmond Reed were both dressed but didn't go through drills (Coleman took a couple snaps during the walk-through).

The receiver position was a bright spot today. Steve Smith had a juggling catch early in the day and later caught a hard thrown slant from Sanchez. Dwayne Jarrett had some terrific battles with Josh Pinkard during the one on one drills and his best catch of the day came during the team drill when he hauled in a deep pass along the sideline. Chris McFoy got a ton of action early on, he had a few drops during the middle of the day but then came back at the end with a deep slant at the goal line on the final play of the day. Patrick Turner had a nice catch vs Pinkard during the one on one drills. Ryan Ting worked at receiver today and he had some nice grabs on slant patterns.

The biggest impression at tight end was made by newcomer Gerald Washington as the big man caught a couple passes on the run in the open field and looked smooth doing it. Not a lot of safeties are going to want to tackle this man with the ball in his hands. Fred Davis also had good gain when Sanchez rolled to his right and hit Fred dragging across the field for 20 yards.

The offensive line was solid and two players who stood out were Chilo Rachal and Tiny Malu at RG. Chilo and Matt Spanos stayed late after practice for extra work with Coach Ruel.

On the d-line, Chris Barrett had the impact play of the day when Sanchez bobbled a snap and Chris, who had come across the line quickly, snatched the ball out of the air and returned it for a nice gain. Kyle Moore was impressive putting pressure on the quarterback. Kyle had one play when he rushed and leaped in the air to completely block the line of sight for the quarterback.

At linebacker, we saw Dallas Sartz get a lot of work and that was unexpected. He and Clay Matthews took the reps at SLB with Cushing and Thomas Williams sitting out. Both Oscar Lua and Rey Maualuga were out there but Luthur Brown did not go through drills. Kaluka Maiava had a real nice play when he batted down a pass attempt in the flat.

The secondary saw Terrell Thomas, Kevin Ellison and Will Harris all get some limited action with Terrell and Kevin actually taking some reps in one on one drills. It remains to be seen how much they will be able to go during spring but it was good to see them out there today. Pinkard was so impressive matching up with Jarrett in the one on one drills and jamming him at the line. Cary Harris has really bulked up and he had a nice pass deflection on a deep ball to Turner. Antwine Perez was active and he certainly looks the party, can't wait to see him in pads.

Other notes:

* Taylor Odegard and Troy Van Blarcom alternated in punt drills while Mario Danelo and Van Blarcom took turns with placekicks. Mark Sanchez and Mike McDonald took turns as the holder.

* Averell Spicer is out for about a week with a hip injury. Nick Howell also sat out today's practice.

* Scott Ware was in attendance and spent time talking with the defensive backs.

* There were several incoming freshman there including Stafon Johnson, Alfred Rowe, Alex Parsons, Travon Patterson, Kenny Ashley and Zack Heberer. Class of 2007 commit Chris Galippo was also in attendance.


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