Saturday, March 31, 2012
Spring practice No. 9 notes
By Pedro Moura
Notes from Saturday's scrimmage at the Coliseum that won't make it into our other coverage off the session:
- Quarterback Matt Barkley did not participate in the scrimmage portion of practice, giving way to backups Cody Kessler and Max Wittek. Wittek started off as the No. 1 signal-caller before the two switched at the half. We'll have more on the race to back up Barkley on Sunday.
- Defensive line coach Ed Orgeron said there are four players battling to be the third and fourth ends behind Devon Kennard and Wes Horton this season, and none of them have stepped up considerably ahead thus far. He also said Greg Townsend Jr. will no longer practice inside at tackle after he spent the first couple weeks of practice learning the new position. We'll have more on this Monday, along with an update on the running back situation with Curtis McNeal and Tre Madden.
- Injury report: Safety Drew McAllister (leg) returned after missing the latter half of Thursday's practice. Aside from that, nothing changed from Thursday's injury situation, although Kiffin did say center Khaled Holmes (calf) and fullback Soma Vainuku (back) could return Tuesday. Receiver George Farmer (hamstring) did mostly special-teams work, marking the eighth straight practice he has now missed because of the hamstring pull. Running back Buck Allen (hamstring) ran on the sideline for most of practice.
- The lone new injury: Receiver Victor Blackwell hurt his hand and his knee during practice and sat out for some of the day. Kiffin said both were "nothing big." Blackwell's absence meant walk-ons had to take on an even bigger role with only one scholarship pass-catcher available in De'Von Flournoy.
- Cornerback Torin Harris (shoulder) continues to miss practice while rehabbing and working out on the sideline. He has been out since the middle of last season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum in the shoulder,"It was positive that he was getting better," Kiffin said. "He should be ready by camp."
- Freshman defensive end DeVante Wilson and redshirt freshman tight end Junior Pomee spent the scrimmage doing rollovers and sit-ups on the sidelines after arriving late to a 9 a.m. morning meeting, Kiffin said.
- Final notes: Receiver Marqise Lee missed the scrimmage to participate in the long jump at the Texas Relays in Austin. He finished 10th. ... An estimated 800 or 900 fans were in attendance at the Coliseum for the open scrimmage, with a couple hundred leaving once it started to rain two-thirds of the way through. ... A number of top recruits were also at the Coliseum, which we'll have more on later.