Friday Practice Report

Mark Sanchez took yet another step in his road to recovery, the Trojans named the 2008 team captains and much more on Friday. Look inside for all the action from Howard Jones Field.

Team Captains Announced

After Friday's practice, Pete Carroll announced the 2008 team captains that were voted on by their teammates.

On offense, the two captains are redshirt senior offensive lineman Jeff Byers and redshirt junior quarterback Mark Sanchez.

"A guy that has been through a lot of stuff here," Coach Carroll said of Jeff Byers. "He's had some injuries and worked his way through his career to the point where these guys recognize him as a captain of this team.

"He's just a fantastic kid in the program."

While Byers provides the stability and experience of a senior, Mark Sanchez is a player that gets the offense going with his fiery presence in the huddle.

"I thought it was really cool that they would pick him as a junior," Carroll said of the team's selection of Sanchez.

On the defensive side of the ball, safety Kevin Ellison and linebacker Brian Cushing were selected by their peers to lead them onto the field of play.

Kevin Ellison, who is one of the most underrated players on the team, couldn't be more respected in the locker room.

Ellison is a quiet leader that has really been a great example to the underclassmen with his work ethic and poise under pressure.

Pete Carroll described Ellison as, "A guy that has just been the epitome of what we hope a Trojan football player and student-athlete to be."

Linebacker Brian Cushing returned for his senior season and has really taken it upon himself to be a team leader in 2008.

"Just the hardest working, toughest guy in the program," Carroll said to describe Cushing.

"It's a great group of guys to be captains for this football team," Carroll said.

"It's a big deal to be a captain at USC."

Notes from the Field

Walking wounded: Brian Baucham, David Ausberry, Shareece Wright, C.J. Gable, Luthur Brown, Michael Reardon, Chris Galippo, Trey Henderson and Matt Meyer were among the players that didn't participate in Friday's practice.

Mark Sanchez continued to make progress and appears to be on course to start the season opener if he doesn't suffer any setbacks. Sanchez threw during 7-on-7 and also participated in 11-on-11 at near full speed.

Defensive tackle Fili Moala was back in action on Friday after missing Thursday's scrimmage with back spasms. Moala looked to be at full strength and had a pass deflection during 11-on-11.

Freshman tight end Blake Ayles had another big day in the passing game. Ayles had a great grab today when he pulled in a Mark Sanchez pass with one hand on the sideline.

D.J. Shoemate got a lot of work as the kick returner today. Stafon Johnson and Damian Williams also got work returning kicks.

Joe McKnight continued to get the majority of the work returning punts.

Travon Patterson has really come on late in camp and had several catches today in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11. Patterson should see consistent playing time with the way he has performed this fall.

Wes Horton had two sacks and fellow freshman Malik Jackson also added a quarterback sack.

Linebacker Jordan Campbell also had a quarterback sack. Campbell flew thru the line and knocked Garrett Green to the ground before Green could even see him coming.

Garrett Green had another solid outing. He threw a perfectly placed pass just out of the reach of the defense and into the hands of a diving Sean Calcagnie in the end zone for a touchdown.

Aaron Corp had a short touchdown run during 11-on-11.

The Trojans finish up fall camp with an 11 a.m. practice on Saturday.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can reach Kevin Carden
at kevin@scplaybook.com


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