Monday, August 30, 2010
Monday practice report: Breakdown
By Pedro Moura
Notes, quotes and video from Monday's practice:
Kiffin announced the Trojans' picks for captains: on offense, quarterback Matt Barkley and fullback Stanley Havili. On defense: cornerback Shareece Wright and linebackers Malcolm Smith and Michael Morgan. Morgan and Smith came in at an exact tie with votes, necessitating a fifth captain. Barkley, a sophomore, is the only non-senior of the group. We'll have more on the captain situation Tuesday, including Havili's rise from suspension to captainship in a matter of weeks and Barkley's impressive candidacy at just 19 years old.
In what qualifies as more than a mild surprise, freshman receiver Kyle Prater will likely redshirt the 2010 season, Kiffin said Monday. Prater, an impressive physical specimen at 6 feet 5, 215 pounds, was the only one of USC's three frosh receivers to enroll early and participate in spring practice -- but a number of lingering injuries (thumb, hamstring, thigh) meant that he never reached full strength for a significant period of time. Kiffin indicated he had consulted Prater's family on the issue and determined that both player and team will be better served by a return in 2011. “We feel he is going to be so good when he is [healthy] that we don’t want to throw him out there when he is not 100 percent," Kiffin said. "We’re fortunate to have enough guys where hopefully we can do that and he can get healthy and stronger and look to a great career here starting next year."
Freshman defensive back Patrick Hall, who was suspended indefinitely on Saturday for an unspecified violation, continues to attend classes at USC. Hall has yet to fully recover from a severe knee injury suffered in August 2009 and has never participated in a full practice with the Trojans. In the meantime, Kiffin reiterated his belief that the Trojans are the best football program in America and indicated that Hall needs to realize that, saying that the coaching staff is "still trying to work with him and get him on the same page as the rest of our team."
Backup center Abe Markowitz broke his foot in practice Sunday and will undergo surgery on Tuesday, Kiffin said after practice. The redshirt sophomore, who earned a scholarship earlier this month, is expected to miss six to seven weeks. As for the rest of the injuries: offensive lineman Michael Reardon was "full," defensive end Nick Perry, cornerback T.J. Bryant, safety Drew McAllister, right guard Khaled Holmes, quarterback Mitch Mustain and running back D.J. Morgan were "limited" and tight end Xavier Grimble was out.
Kiffin, on his potential changes to the team traditions -- especially on Saturdays -- that gained popularity under former coach Pete Carroll: "There's a million ways to do things. It's going to be a little bit tighter. That doesn't mean its better by any means. The old way won 34 straight games and seven straight conference championships. But you have to be yourself and you have to let your own personality on your team. We'll be a little tighter with them and not quite as loose."
Final notes: The Trojans will practice at 2 p.m. on Tuesday before departing for Hawaii at 7 p.m. ... Kiffin said Holmes would be the emergency backup center if Reardon were to be unavailable for the Hawaii game. Of course, Holmes is not yet a certainty to start that game himself.
Kiffin met with the media after practice and talked about his biggest question marks in advance of the season opener at Hawaii. He also addressed the injury situation on the offensive line, where only four of the Trojans' 12 scholarship players have spent the offseason injury-free.