Wednesday Practice Report

Wide receiver Vidal Hazelton had one of his best practices of the year and is trying to work his way back into the rotation, Joe McKnight's status is still uncertain but he plans to play and Stanley Havili is back at full speed. Look inside for more news.

Hazelton Back in the Rotation

USC wide receive Vidal Hazelton has had a rocky start to the 2008 season. The junior wide receiver caught five passes in the Trojans season-opening win against Virginia, but injured his ankle in the process, and hasn't been a factor since that point.

While Hazelton has battled injuries all season, he has watched as fellow wide receivers Patrick Turner, Damian Williams and Ronald Johnson solidified themselves as the top three pass catchers in the rotation.

"Damian Williams, Patrick Turner and Ronald Johnson look terrific out there on the field," said Hazelton. "You can't deny the fact that they are doing good."

After considering a possible redshirt, Hazelton is now putting his efforts toward getting back in the rotation and re-establishing himself as a consistent contributor in the Trojans' passing game.

"I'm playing catch up know so I just got to go out here and keep competing, and hopefully earn some more playing time," Hazelton said.

Hazelton, who suffered a concussion last week, was cleared for contact on Wednesday and responded by pulling in three touchdown passes and had one of his best practices of the year.

The junior wide receiver said he is still limited by his injured ankle but joked, "You don't feel anything when you score touchdowns."

Hazelton plans to play this Saturday against the Arizona Wildcats.

"I'm in the game plan so I should be out there," Hazelton said. "I don't know how many reps but I should be out there."

News and Notes

- Joe McKnight (turf toe) didn't practice on Wednesday but did agility drills on the side with the training staff. McKnight said he will play against Arizona this Saturday but Coach Carroll doesn't plan to make a decision until later in the week.

"We'll just wait all the way to the end of the week," Carroll explained. "Joe plans on playing."

- Stanley Havili has been limited this week after tweaking his ankle against Washington State but is expected to play on Saturday.

- Cary Harris (hamstring) hasn't participated in contact drills this week but Coach Carroll said he will be full speed on Thursday.

- Mark Sanchez connected with Ronald Johnson for two deep touchdown passes against the scout team defense and Mitch Mustain threw two touchdown passes to Patrick Turner.

-Wide receiver Damian Williams banged up his shoulder during practice. No word on the extent of the injury but Williams said he will play this weekend.

- Tight end DaJohn Harris caught a touchdown pass against the first-team defense.


USC wide receiver Vidal Hazelton hopes to work his way back into the rotation at WR.

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


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