Thursday, March 8, 2012
Spring practice No. 2 notes
By Pedro Moura
Notes from Thursday's practice not covered in our other posts off the session:
- Lane Kiffin named an MVP of the day for the second-straight practice, this time picking sophomore receiver Marqise Lee. On Tuesday, it was fellow sophomore George Farmer who earned the honors. Lee had a number of tough catches on the field Thursday, including one ridiculous leaping grab on a mediocre throw from Matt Barkley. Asked about it after practice, Kiffin said he didn't even remember which one he was being asked about because Lee made so many impressive catches. "He makes a couple of those a day," Kiffin said. "He's a unique player, a great player." Lee's effort in the series of 100-yard sprints that concluded practice also impressed Kiffin.
- Farmer hurt his hamstring midway through practice and did not participate in the latter half of the session. Kiffin said he did not know how the extend of the injury, but it didn't appear to be serious. Farmer has been bothered by nagging injuries often since his arrival on campus last August.
- Injury report: Aside from Farmer and the players who are out for the entire spring, tight ends Xavier Grimble (toe) and Junior Pomee (undisclosed) did not practice again Thursday, and quarterback Jesse Scroggins (hip) participated very little. Receiver Robert Woods (ankle) did even less, and defensive lineman Greg Townsend Jr. (back) missed the latter half of practice.
- Interestingly, Kiffin said Thursday that he would be giving limited reps to Barkley this spring for two specific reasons: injuries and snaps for the other signal-callers. The coach said Tuesday provided a reminder of "how close stuff can be" in terms of Barkley getting hurt. There were times Thursday when Barkley went in for one snap and then gave way to Cody Kessler or Max Wittek.
- Another interesting note: Barkley said Thursday he never actually submitted his pre-draft paperwork to the NFL seeking an evaluation, although he said in November last year that he had. "I never heard anything from the NFL," he said, laughing. "We were planning on it, but it never happened."
- USC will practice with pads Saturday morning for the first time this spring, which Kiffin said he was looking forward to based on the lethargy of Thursday's session. He said it would provide a boost for the players. After the 8:45 a.m. practice, the Trojans will take the next nine days off and resume practice on Tuesday, March 20.