Thursday morning practice report

The freshmen, along with selected veterans, got things started this morning with a 7:00am practice to kickoff the 2006 fall camp session and it didn't take long to be reminded how talented this class really is.

The players actually arrived on the field a little after 6:30 and were soon doing walk-throughs and special teams work to start their first official day as Trojan football players.

The defense worked on Brian Kennedy Field with some basic assignment drills. Luthur Brown was at middle linebacker (he said his back felt fine after practice) and Thomas Williams was also available today at linebacker. Clay Matthews and Mike Morgan got the majority of the work, Josh Tatum did not practice. In the secondary it was Vincent Joseph and Shareece Wright at corners with Taylor Mays, Alfred Rowe and Allen Bradford rotating at safety (Bradford had a pick of a throw from coach Nick Holt during the drill). On the line we saw Buth Lewis, Alex Parsons, Derek Simmons and Averell Spicer.

The offensive line featured Charles Brown at LT, Matt Spanos at LG, Nick Howell at center, Zack Heberer at RG and Thomas Herring at RT. We talked to Howell after the practice and he said he has never worked at center before except for a couple snaps in a high school practice but the coaches want to work him at the spot because it could be his quickest way to see the field. Nick has a quick first step and is at 275 pounds now so the coaches want to take a look at the move. He said he still has a little scar tissue from his sliced foot, suffered at a 4th of July BBQ, but the foot basically feels fine. Both Vidal Hazelton and Jamere Holland sat out, Jamere had his shoulder in a sling, so that meant Travon Patterson and David Ausberry got the majority of receiver reps along with Brad Walker. Patterson continues to impress, more on that later in the report. The TE spot had Jimmy Miller, Nick Vanderboom and Anthony McCoy. Stafon Johnson, C.J. Gable and Emmanuel Moody were at TB with Stanley Havili at FB. Garrett Green and Mike McDonald handled the QB duties with John David Booty and Mark Sanchez dressed in street clothes helping them with their assignments.

One of the first things the players did was work on special teams coverage drills led by coach Todd McNair. A lot of emphasis was put on staying in lanes and going full speed. We also saw some punt work with Taylor Odegard, Troy Van Blarcom and Greg Woidneck getting work, Mike Brittingham was the long snapper.

Some of the highlights plays of the day were as follows:

* Allen Bradford laid a pretty good pop on Moody during a drill on Brian Kennedy Field.

* Travon Patterson took a pass across the middle from Mike McDonald and turned upfield at the sideline before outrunning the defense for a 60 yard score. Travon simply had a burst on the play that the defense couldn't match. Travon showed good routes and hands all day.

* Vincent Joseph had a nice interception where he stepped in front of Travon to make the play.

* Stanley Havili caught a short pass over the middle and ran into a waiting Thomas Williams who just stood there and dropped Havili when the contact was made.

* Anthony McCoy had a nice over the middle catch in traffic.

* Jimmy Miller took a pass in the flat and turned upfield for a nice gain.

* Thomas Williams had an interception that bounced out of the hands of a receiver.

Several members of the offensive line and a couple tight ends have shaved their heads into a mohawk cut.

The veterans practice today at 3:00pm. Top Stories