There was an added sense of excitement in the air on this second day of Spring Camp. The field was lined with coaches, prepsters and junior college players and the Trojans did not fail to produce an upbeat, intense practice.
For the second day, the team speed was evident, particularly on offense. In contrast to last season, when the offense was in question (new receivers, running back questions); it is becoming readily apparent that this offense will be ready to rumble when the time comes.
The only real question mark will be who will step up and be the quarterback of choice. That question however may be moot since whoever is calling the plays will be a quality quarterback. As mentioned on Tuesday, Mark Sanchez has the inside track, but Mitch Mustain will challenge him considerably. It's too early to call this one.
Surprise, Surprise, it's Allen Bradford Again
For the second day in as many practices, Allen Bradford has looked the most impressive in the backfield. He is running hard, finds the holes and finds ways to break out of the pack. Bradford gets a silver star for shining two days in a row.
When asked about Bradford's two days of camp, Pete Carroll smiled and excitedly said, "He looks good, he really looks good. He looks fast, he's catching the ball well. He had a great off-season and he's really determined to make a statement here. He's been talking about it since the end of the season and he's backing it up with the way he's working."
Joe McKnight continues to improve, his speed and elusiveness is bolstered by the confidence he gained at the Rose Bowl. He also has a season behind him and is more in-tune with the Trojan system.
Kyle Moore in Defensive Animation
Kyle Moore brought an extra zip in his game today, wrapping up running backs, harassing passers and dropping back to break up plays. Moore brought energy and appears to be learning to take a leadership role on the team.
The team took some time practicing take-aways and protection, drills that resembled "Turnover Tuesday." During the team portion of these exercises, Allen Bradford, C.J. Gable, Stafon Johnson, Marc Tyler and Broderick Green each got a turn at running the ball through the pile. Bradford had the most impressive run, plowing through the center of the defense and breaking out for a long gainer.
5-on-5 passing: During this drill, Mark Sanchez connected with C.J. Gable for a long gain, Joe McKnight converted an Aaron Corp pass for a touchdown and Justin Hart grabbed a tipped Mitch Mustain pass for an interception.
Special Teams: Joe McKnight was on the receiving end of Greg Woidneck punts. Field goals: Jordan Congdon was a perfect three-for-three and Joe Houston converted one-of-two field goals. Garrett Green continues to be the holder on place kicks.
11-on-11's: During team practice, Sanchez and Mustain played equally well, and Corp continues to hold his own. Damian Williams had several nice catches, David Ausberry caught a long 50 yard reception for a touchdown, and Joe McKnight made several impressive plays. As previously mentioned, Bradford has been the most consistent back thus far. Stafon Johnson had a nice run through the middle, despite being clogged up in the pack. Broderick Green continues to work hard as well.
Defensively, Kyle Moore was the most visible force, harassing quarterbacks and running backs throughout the afternoon. Luther Brown had a nice afternoon as well, making several dazzling plays. With Brian Cushing recovering from off-season surgery and Kaluka Maiava out for Spring; Luther Brown, Jordan Campbell, Chris Galippo, Malcolm Smith and Mike Morgan are getting a chance to showcase their abilities.
Look Who's Talking
In addition to the coaches and high school athletes on the sideline, several future Trojans were on the sideline. Matt Barkley, Robbie Boyer, D.J. Shoemate, Chris Metcalf and Morrell Presley attended practice. They got a pretty good view of what a Trojan practice is like.
Chris Bonds, the 6'4" – 275 lbs. defensive end from Richland Northeast High School (Columbia, South Carolina) was in attendance as well. Bonds is a Scout.com 4-star recruit. SCPlaybook interviewed Bonds in February and will update his status after his visit to California has been completed.
The family of Jordan Campbell attended practice and were all smiles, as they watched Campbell participate in practice.
D'Andre Thomas attended practice again today, he too was excited to be on the sideline and close to the action. Brown is contemplating walking-on for USC. SCPlaybook spoke with Brown and each time we speak, he seems more excited about the prospect of being a part of the Trojan Family.
Spring Camp Continued
Camp continues tomorrow (closed practice); there will also be a coaches camp Friday and Saturday. The team returns to the field on Sunday.