Notes, quotes, and video from Tuesday's practice, the final full-pads practice of the spring before Saturday's Spring Game:
The big story was at linebacker, where the battle at the middle spot was cleared up a bit, as redshirt junior Chris Galippo switched over to strongside for 15-20 snaps. Sophomore Devon Kennard, who was moved over to middle linebacker before spring practice, said he wasn't involved in the decision. "I have no idea what the coaches have in mind with all of that," Kennard said. "I don't know the situation -- the coaches haven't talked to me about it." Kennard added that nothing was decided and that the two would continue to compete at least for the rest of spring.
Galippo, who played middle linebacker all four years at Servite High School in Anaheim, on the move: "I think I'm ready for that. Mentally, [strongside] is a lot easier than [middle]. You don't have to worry about making checks, I can trust Devon to do all that. I just gotta get used to the alignments, get my mind away from being in the middle a little bit."
Highlights of practice: quarterback James Boyd displayed an impressive arm with a touchdown throw to tight end David Ausberry during passing drills, the USC kickers practiced pooch punting by punting the ball over the fence at Howard Jones Field and cornerback Shareece Wright displayed impressive range with an interception of a deep pass during 11-on-11 play. Defensive tackles Christian Tupou and Jurrell Casey combined on the most impressive play of them all, working together to sp
Injury updates: defensive end Armond Armstead and running back Dillon Baxter returned to the field after missing Saturday's scrimmage. End Nick Perry left practice early; tight end Blake Ayles sat out because of his second concussion of the spring and running back Marc Tyler again sat out because of a sore toe.
Offensive guards Zack Heberer and Butch Lewis stretched with the team prior to the start of team play in practice, but spent the rest of the 2 1/2-hour practice doing individual workouts designed for injured players. Both have been out for all of the spring.
Receiver Kyle Prater continues to practice with a bulky cast on his thumb, which seems to hinder him in making catches. Receiver Ronald Johnson may not need surgery on his right wrist after all, coach Lane Kiffin said, and Johnson spent a good portion of practice fielding punts.
Kiffin on the certainty of the end-of-spring depth chart, which will be released Friday: "It all depends. There's too many variables to tell. Each spot will be different...We'll have something on Friday, but that's pretty much in pencil." Former coach Pete Carroll would typically list "or" between multiple players at contested positions, leaving the chart with an indefinite sense. Kiffin seemed to indicate his system would be similar.
The USC defense shut down two attempts at a two-minute drill from the offense, spearheaded by both Mitch Mustain and Matt Barkley.
Kiffin spoke with a bit of ambiguity regarding linebacker Jordan Campbell, who was absent from practice Tuesday, presumably because of a violation of the team's zero-tolerance policy. The video of Kiffin's response is below: