SCPLAYBOOK'S WEEKLY RISERS
Ronald Johnson - 6-0, 190 - WiDe Receiver
Analysis: USC senior wide receiver Ronald Johnson has been one of the most impressive and productive players on the team this spring. Lane Kiffin called him the "MVP" of the first two practices and he hasn't slowed down since. Johnson has made a smooth transition into the No.1 wide receiver spot and has displayed the big play ability that we saw glimpses of in '08 and '09. While Dillon Baxter stole the headlines after Saturday's scrimmage, Johnson showed that the deep passing game is back by pulling in 4 catches for 167 yards and two touchdowns.
DaJohn Harris - 6-4, 295 - Defensive Tackle
Analysis: The arrival of defensive coordinator Ed Orgeron has provided new opportunities for USC defensive tackle DaJohn Harris. The 6-4, 295-pound lineman has emerged as the surprise of spring practice, and could be working himself into regular playing time in 2010. Harris has made two of the most memorable plays of the spring: batting a pass from Matt Barkley up in the air, catching it on the way down and returning it for a touchdown, and later stripping the ball from Mitch Mustain and rumbling 52 yards down the field before being stopped just short of the goal line. Harris' productivity this spring provides USC good depth at defensive tackle, a spot where Orgeron believes the Trojans will have five solid contributors.
Dillon Baxter - 6-0, 205 - Tailback
Analysis: It would be hard to argue that any player had a better week than freshman running back Dillon Baxter. The silky smooth tailback from San Diego has become an internet sensation after electrifying USC fans with a 50-yard touchdown run during Saturday's scrimmage that Lane Kiffin compared to Reggie Bush's legendary effort against Fresno State in 2005. Baxter has shown great vision, patience and moves that have left more than a few defenders looking silly. It is still early, but Baxter will definitely have a role in the offense in 2010, which may even include being used as a quarterback in the Wildcat formation.
Byron Moore - 6-1, 205 - Defensive Back
Analysis: The secondary is one of the most difficult positions to project going forward because there are so many young, but inexperienced players battling for playing time. One player that had a solid second week of the spring was safety Byron Moore. The versatile defensive back highlighted a strong showing last Tuesday by intercepting a deep pass from Matt Barkley that deflected off of Ronald Johnson. Moore finished the week off with one of the biggest hits of Saturday's scrimmage and also stopped Allen Bradford for a loss. Moore made the move from cornerback to safety this spring and remains in the mix for playing time at that spot.
Kevin Graf - 6-6, 315 - Offensive Lineman
Analysis: While the lack of depth has been a problem this spring, it has also provided plenty of opportunities for younger players like Kevin Graf. The 6-6, 315-pound redshirt freshman had a somewhat slow start to the spring but came on strong during the second week of practice. Graf has shown good versatility by playing both guard and tackle and received praise from head coach Lane Kiffin for his performance last week. Unfortunately, the massive offensive lineman missed Tuesday's practice with a neck stinger.
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