Spring practice No. 1 notes
March, 6, 2012
By Pedro Moura | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Notes from Tuesday's spring-opening practice not covered in our other posts off the session:
- Players expected to miss the entire spring because of injuries include tight end Christian Thomas (hip), offensive tackle Chad Wheeler (shoulder), defensive tackle Christian Heyward (shoulder), defensive end DeVante Wilson (knee), cornerback Torin Harris (shoulder) and punter Kyle Negrete (shoulder). All six underwent offseason surgeries. Negrete appeared to punt normally in practice but was announced as out for the spring by Kiffin.
- Players who missed all or part of Tuesday's practice because of injury but are expected to return soon include quarterback Jesse Scroggins (hip), running back Curtis McNeal (shoulder), receiver Robert Woods (ankle), tight ends Xavier Grimble (toe) and Junior Pomee (undisclosed) and defensive back Josh Shaw (back). Only Woods' appears anywhere near serious, and Kiffin himself said he at one point thought the junior would suit up Tuesday. He's still recovering from the same ankle injury he suffered last April playing pick-up basketball.
- Shaw, a talented transfer from Florida, has not received a final determination on his hardship waiver from the NCAA. He is petitioning to be able to play this season instead of sitting out a year based on the argument he returned home to be with ailing family members.
- Kiffin said the MVP of the day was receiver-turned-running-back-turned-receiver George Farmer, who we'll have more on later. Fullback Soma Vainuku made the play of the day with a diving catch on a Matt Barkley throw. Barkley called the play "Havili-esque" afterward after former USC fullback Stanley Havili, who graduated in 2011.
- Forty-one USC students participated in walk-on tryouts during the tail end of practice -- more than twice as many as have come out in the spring or fall in recent years.
- Weight gains and losses: right tackle Aundrey Walker says he is down to 320 pounds after measuring in at 375 on his official visit last January. McNeal says he is up to 195 pounds -- 10 more than what he was at during last season. Left guard Marcus Martin is now listed at 325, a 15-pound drop from last season.