Freshman Progress Report

USC's star-studded 2010 freshman class will have two players in the starting lineup tonight and a handful of others ready to contribute. Look inside to see how the freshmen have progressed since arriving on campus.


Robert Woods – Wide Receiver – 6'1, 185
It's hard to do more than Woods has done during his short time at USC. The former Serra High School standout quickly rose up the depth chart because of his playmaking ability on the field - and great work ethic off the field. Lane Kiffin compared Woods to Steve Smith and Keary Colbert, so he must be doing something right.


Nickell Robey – Cornerback – 5'8, 165
Robey is always around the ball and became the story of fall camp because of his aggressive style of play. It's not often that you see a true freshman start the opener at cornerback but Robey has been so productive that the coaches couldn't keep him out of the lineup. USC fans get to watch Robey make plays for the next four years.


Christian Thomas – Defensive End – 6'3, 240
The big athlete from Highland High School is one of the most physically impressive players in the 2010 class. Thomas arrived as a tight end, and was arguably the most impressive of the talented trio of freshmen. He has since been moved to defensive end and has shown a ton of potential as a pass rusher. Thomas has great speed off the ball and could be a major contributor during his time at USC.


Dillon Baxter – Tailback – 6'0, 195
Baxter has had his struggles off the field, and will miss the opener against Hawaii while serving a one-game suspension, but on the field he has been electric. If Baxter can stay focused on football then he is a future star for the Trojans. He's one of the most naturally gifted players that you will see and can be used in a variety of different ways in the Trojans' offense.


Kyle Prater – Wide Receiver – 6'5 215
The 6-5, 215-pound wide receiver has shown glimpses of why he was so highly regarded coming out of high school but has also been slowed by nagging leg injuries. Prater is expected to redshirt this season and could contribute as soon as 2011. One of the most impressive things about the freshman wideout is his work ethic and willingness to learn from the older players.


Jesse Scroggins – Quarterback – 6'3, 205
Like all young quarterbacks, Scroggins struggled the first few days of camp, but he has responded and shown a lot of ability. Scroggins has a strong arm and loves to use it. The Lakewood product will have a few years to develop under the watchful eye of Clay Helton and Lane Kiffin before competing for the starting quarterback job with possibly Cody Kessler and Max Wittek.


Xavier Grimble – Tight End - 6'5, 255
The mammoth tight end has some people thinking a move to offensive tackle might be in his future, but he has enough athleticism to play at either spot. Grimble was having a good camp before suffering an ankle injury that will keep him out of the opener.



Anthony Brown – Cornerback – 6,0, 185
Anthony Brown is a hard-nosed player that isn't afraid to mix it up with bigger wide receivers. He is similar to Nickell Robey in size and build, and both players are very aggressive on the field. Look for Brown to emerge as a contributor on special teams and compete for playing time in the future.


Markeith Ambles – Wide Receiver – 6'2, 215
While Robert Woods has been compared to Steve Smith, and Kyle Prater has fans thinking of Dwayne Jarrett and Mike Williams, don't forget about Markeith Ambles. At 6-2, 215 pounds, he has good size, speed and has been one of the most productive wide receiver during practice. Ambles has all the tools to be a real difference maker in the passing game.


Demetrius Wright – Safety – 6'1, 205
After missing a few practices while waiting to be cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center, Demetrius Wright returned to action this week. Wright has good size and hitting ability for a safety. He will add depth at the position and could even see limited playing time if injuries remain an issue.


D.J. Morgan – Tailback – 6'0, 175
D.J. Morgan has been limited during practice while he continues to recover from the ACL injury that he suffered as a senior at Taft High School. The talented tailback will likely redshirt and be ready to show off his blazing speed in 2011.



Randall Telfer – Tight End – 6'4, 230
Telfer is a terrific raw athlete that has the frame and athleticism to be a weapon in the passing game in the next few years. He has dropped a few balls in camp and will have to work on his hands, but he could develop into an all-round tight end that can catch and block.



Dion Bailey – Safety – 6'1, 195
Dion Bailey has been steady in fall camp and is another player with good instincts. Bailey, like fellow freshman Demetrius Wright, could see some action if injuries remain an issue at the safety position.



George Uko – Defensive Tackle – 6'4, 300
Big George already has the frame of a sophomore or junior and has shown a lot of upside. He will add depth at defensive tackle, and looks like a player that could be really special down the road. Uko will benefit from learning under Ed Orgeron, who is one of the best defensive line coaches in the nation.



Hayes Pullard – Linebacker – 6'2, 225
Pullard isn't the biggest linebacker but he showed good instincts in fall camp before suffering a knee injury that forced him to have arthroscopic surgery. Pullard will miss 4-6 weeks and likely redshirt. He will be in the mix for playing time in 2011 with the departures of Malcolm Smith and Mike Morgan.


Giovanni Di Poalo – Offensive Lineman – 6'6, 295
It's certainly been an interesting fall for Di Poalo, who has spent time running as a third-string and scout-team offensive tackle. With his future set for guard or center, he's certainly gotten an education courtesy of the talented, physical and versatile USC defensive line. Di Poalo has the tools to contribute in a major way down the road, but will benefit from a redshirt season - barring a spate of injuries - to develop.


Patrick Hall – Defensive Back – 6-0, 190
The talented defensive back was working his way back from the knee injury that he suffered a year ago, before being suspended indefinitely for unspecified reasons. It's likely that Hall will redshirt this season and hopefully get back on track and be available in the future.



- Dan Greenspan contributed to this report.


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