Tuesday Practice: Ellison Cleared

USC safety Kevin Ellison has been a senior leader on the defensive side of the ball for the Trojans in 2008, so it is fitting that he has been cleared by team doctors, and is poised to play in his final home game at USC. Look inside for news on Ellison, Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen and more.

Ellison Cleared

USC safety Kevin Ellison has been a senior leader on the defensive side of the ball for the Trojans in 2008, so it is fitting that he has been cleared by team doctors, and is poised to play in his final home game at USC.

Ellison missed the last three games after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, but returned to practice on Tuesday without any setbacks.

"He looked fine. He wasn't full-speed tackling, hitting and all that, but he sure moved well," Pete Carroll said. "It looks like an incredibly good recovery at this point."

After meeting with team doctors on Tuesday night, Ellison got word that he has been cleared to play this Saturday when the Trojans face Notre Dame.

"I'm cleared to do everything," Ellison said with a grin.

Carroll plans to be cautious with Ellison's knee in practice and gradually increase his workload with each practice.

Will Harris will continue to prepare as the starter at strong safety, and the coaches will evaluate how much Ellison can play later in the week.

Clausen Looking for Respect

Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen will be looking for some respect when he returns to his hometown to face the fifth-ranked USC Trojans on Saturday.

Clausen, who starred alongside Marc Tyler and Marshall Jones at Oaks Christian high school in Westlake Village, doesn't feel there is much respect for the Fighting Irish in Southern California.

"To be honest, they really don't like Notre Dame," Clausen said when asked about his perspective of the rivalry growing up in Southern California. "They really don't like Notre Dame, and don't really respect Notre Dame. I think Notre Dame respects USC like they should any team."

When asked about the Clausen's comments USC head coach Pete Carroll replied, "I don't know how he would know that. He hasn't been here."

News and Notes

• Defensive tackle Armond Armstead didn't practice on Tuesday, but worked on the side with team trainers.

• Pete Carroll announced that the coaches have changed the rotation at running back, allowing the tailbacks to play for an entire series instead of substituting every play.

The new philosophy should allow the tailbacks to develop a better rhythm by receiving consecutive carries.

"We have been trying to give them a little but more of a feel," Carroll said. "Every running back wants to do that."


Kevin Ellison (4) will make his final trip down the tunnel on Saturday.(Scott Carden Photo)

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


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