Spring practice No. 6 notes
March, 24, 2012
By Pedro Moura | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Here are some notes that didn't make it into our other coverage from Saturday's scrimmage, the Trojans' first visit to the Coliseum since last November's 50-0 win over UCLA:
- USC had only two scholarship receivers and tight ends available on the field Saturday because of injuries, so De'Von Flournoy and Victor Blackwell got plenty of chances to show off to the coaching staff. Coach Lane Kiffin indicated that Flournoy, now a redshirt junior, was more impressive than Blackwell. Walk-on fullback Hunter Simmons took most of the snaps at tight end with everyone else out.
- So the track Trojans got mixed up a little bit. Nickell Robey, Marqise Lee and Tony Burnett had all planned to participate in the Trojan Invitational track meet on campus, but only Lee and Burnett ended up doing it. Kiffin convinced Robey that he needed to practice special-teams skills, so the junior cornerback skipped his long-jumping event, which Lee actually won. Burnett did the long jump on campus and then tried to golf-cart over to the Coliseum so he could participate in the latter half of practice but was turned down because of NCAA regulations governing two-sport athletes.
- Defensive tackle George Uko was "dominant" on Saturday, according to Kiffin, wrapping up a big week for the redshirt sophomore. He found out two weeks ago Saturday that he had been demoted to the second team and since then he has been the best player in USC's front seven and arguably the best player on the Trojans' entire defense.
- Injury report: Tight ends Xavier Grimble (toe) and Randall Telfer (hamstring), quarterback Jesse Scroggins (hip), running back Buck Allen (hamstring), center Khaled Holmes (calf) and receiver George Farmer (hamstring) all missed practice, and linebacker Dion Bailey (hamstring) missed almost all of it. Fullback Soma Vainuku hurt his back in individual drills and missed all of the scrimmage portion of the day.
- Final notes: USC resumes practice on Tuesday at Howard Jones Field. ... As Kiffin said he would, Matt Barkley did limited work and backups Cody Kessler and Max Wittek took the majority of snaps. ... Robey, D.J. Morgan and Curtis McNeal all practiced punt returning during individual drills.