Chilo Rachal spring ball recap, Week 1

The Heisman Trophies and National Championships the Trojans have collected in recent years all have one thing in common: they've been won behind stellar offensive lines. So as the Trojans head into the 2006 season, those three open spots along the offensive line loom large in terms of the teams' prospects.

One of those open spots looks close to being filled by redshirt sophomore Chilo Rachal as he battles at right guard. And we looked to lock up Rachal's thoughts on spring ball up to this point.

"It's fun," Rachal said, "real fun. To get back out there on the field, it's just a lot of fun. But it's been pretty intense as well."

Those are two words that have come to describe these Pete Carroll coached teams: fun and intense. But how about two more: fast and competition.

"These practices are fast, man. There's a lot of competition out there between everybody right now. I mean, I'm the number one right guard right now, but I'm being pushed hard by a really good player behind me. I know that nobody's spot is secure and I've got to keep working hard every day."

Competition has played a huge role in motivating the Trojans in the past several years and Rachal is yet another Trojan who has embraced that idea of fighting for everything on the football field.

Rachal continued to speak about finally being able to get on the field and practice again. "The best part is just being out there with all the guys again. Being around all my teammates again and having fun on the football field. There's nothing that I don't like about Spring Ball."

Even the constant barrage of injuries that has taken its toll on the team hasn't affected Rachal's demeanor. "There's no concern there. We've got a lot of great players on this team and there's always someone ready to step up. I mean, we've got some great players that people don't even know about yet."

With his overwhelming optimism, Rachal looks forward to the rest of spring practices. "We're developing a pretty tight group along the offensive line. I'm really looking forward to continuing my development and working with the coaches. For me personally, I'm just looking to get a better understanding of the offense. I want to be able to control the game and play up to speed." He knows that how well he plays and how prepared he for is this coming season is entirely up to him and it all starts right now.

Rachal spoke for the whole team about their preparation for the start of spring ball. This year, as spring practice also serves as an emotional spring cleaning, the Trojans will look to replace star players as well as that sinking feeling from the end of last season. "Everyone's ready to go back at it again. We're working hard and ready to get back on top. Last year is absolutely long gone. Nobody talks about the past. Our mind set is totally different at this point."

He was also quick to point out fellow teammates who have impressed in the few spring sessions. "A lot of people are jumping out so far, especially guys on the offensive line. Guys like Tiny Malu, who is pushing me, and Charles Brown come to mind. But there are so many more."

"I'm just really excited to keep going with spring ball. I love how I can use this to prepare myself for the summer and fall camps and helps me better myself as a player."

And thus far, Chilo has used this spring to assert himself as one of the next great Trojan offensive linemen. With several weeks to go, Rachal will continue to give us updates on his and the team's progress during spring ball. Top Stories