Tuesday Practice: Two New Trojans

The two newest Trojans, Nick Perry and Curtis McNeal, were in pads for the first time and added some excitement to Tuesday's practice. Look inside for all the news, notes and quotes from Howard Jones Field.

First Practice for Two Newest Trojans

The USC players and coaches alike got a boost from having two new faces on the practice field on Tuesday.

Fresh off being cleared by the NCAA, freshmen Nick Perry and Curtis McNeal suited up today and saw their first action as Trojans.

"They did alright today," Carroll said of the two newest Trojans. "They don't know what they are doing yet but they looked pretty good at times."

Curtis McNeal, who was a four-star recruit coming out of Venice High School, is a shifty running back that was used at tailback and on punt returns this afternoon.

"It's kind of like having a new toy on offense," Carroll said of McNeal. "Curtis (McNeal) is a really exciting athlete, really quick and really coordinated. He's just different than the guys we have so it was fun having him out here."

McNeal said he plans to redshirt this season.

Nick Perry from Detroit's King High School is a tremendous athlete that set a state-record last year with an amazing 36 sacks.

Perry, who was rated as the fifth best defensive end in the 2008 recruiting class by Scout.com, has the ability to play either defensive end or linebacker and will start his USC career as a strongside linebacker.

"That's where he is going to go right now and we will see how that works out," Carroll replied when asked if Perry would play the SAM linebacker position.

Ayles Discusses First Career Touchdown

Freshman tight end Blake Ayles has been making big plays in practice since the first day of fall camp and on Saturday, he made the first big play of his USC career.

"It went real quick because I kind of just got thrown in there and then caught it," Ayles said of his first career touchdown, which came in the second quarter of the Trojan 35-3 win over Ohio State. "It was just amazing. The crowd went crazy and I just got really excited."

The freshman tight end said he felt some jitters as lined up on the line, knowing the ball was coming his way.

"It was just a little pop pass to me," Ayles said recalling the big moment. "When I heard the play I was just like ‘oh, oh it's the play.' When I caught it, it was a trip and the crowd went crazy.

"The whole game our crowd was stepping up and being loud. It was a blast being out there and having the crowd behind us."

Ayles was very pleased with the offense's performance against Ohio State but admitted that he wasn't surprised by the result because of how well the Trojans prepared in practice the last two weeks.

"We prepare and go hard with our defense so this was just seeing another good defense and we stepped up to the challenge," Ayles said.

Notes from the Field

Joe McKnight, Stanley Havili and Damian Williams were among the players that didn't participate in practice on Tuesday.

Joe McKnight was still feeling the ill-effects of a migraine headache that he suffered during the Ohio State game.

"They are going to make sure that they test him and check him out real carefully," Pete Carroll said. "He was real light sensitive early on and then it got really intense."

Linebacker Chris Galippo was in pads today and said he plans to practice full speed by next week.

"Next week I should for sure be full contact," Galippo said.

Galippo said his back feels good and when asked if he would be cleared for the Oregon State game he replied, "That's what I am expecting."

Linebacker Luthur Brown continues to dish out big hits on the practice field. Brown met Marc Tyler in the hole during 11-on-11 and snapped Tyler's head back after delivering a big blow.

Blake Ayles showed off his great hands pulling in a one-handed catch over the middle on a pass from Mark Sanchez.

Armond Armstead and Uona Kaveinga each had a quarterback sack on Tuesday.

Patrick Turner and David Ausberry elevated over T.J. Bryant on consecutive plays to pull in acrobatic catches.

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

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