Saturday, August 6, 2011
Fall camp practice No. 2 tidbits
By Pedro Moura
Three main stories out of the second day of fall camp Friday: Brice Butler is definitely out of Lane Kiffin's doghouse, Chris Galippo is using his mind more than his body and some Trojans are reminding Kiffin of years' past. Here's the rest of what went on at Howard Jones Field:
Kennard doing well at end
The offseason decision to move middle linebacker Devon Kennard back to his original position of defensive end has looked like a well-informed one so far. The junior has looked comfortable in his first snaps at the spot through the first two days of camp, although, with no pads, it's hard to take too much else away from his early performances.
Still, it's easy to tell Kennard grew up playing end and started at it when he got to USC in the summer of 2009. He can rush the passer out of a variety of stances, which could help Lane and Monte Kiffin orchestrate different things from the defensive line this season.
"Pass rushing is something I've been doing for a long time," Kennard said Friday. "But it has been a while, so I'm just getting used to it, fundamental-wise. I think the coaches are impressed with how fast I'm picking it up, because it's all stuff I've done in the past."
Kennard last played end for USC in November 2009, when Pete Carroll was still the Trojans' coach. Defensive duties were different back then, but not all that different, he said. Many of the things he's been asked to do so far have been similar to what he was doing the first part of his freshman year.
One difference in the terminology between the Kiffin and Carroll regimes that Kennard pointed out: under Carroll, the defensive ends were assigned to a side, strong or weak, based on where the tight end was located. Now, under Kiffin, they're simply left or right. Kennard said it's now simpler for him because he doesn't have to worry about switching alongside an in-motion tight end or anything of that nature.
Robert Woods' diving 45-yard catch early on in team drills might have been the play of the day. The other competitor for that title was a leaping grab made by freshman Marqise Lee over the shoulders of safety Marshall Jones, but Jesse Scroggins looked like he might have been touched by a defensive lineman before he got the throw off.
Running back Amir Carlisle also produced more than his fair share of long runs, for the second straight day.
Defensive highlights included an impressive recovery from safety Drew McAllister to nearly pick off a Matt Barkley pass intended for Lee on the west sideline and an interception by Jawanza Starling of a Cody Kessler pass. Freshman cornerback Ryan Henderson also lit up receiver De'Von Flournoy on a screen pass to the left side from Max Wittek.
On special teams, cornerback Nickell Robey blocked a kick from walk-on Craig McMahon during drills.
Several players again missed time in practice with minor issues with cramps, but none were believed to be serious. Among those who spent time on the sidelines were cornerback Tony Burnett and receiver Kyle Prater.
Freshman center Cody Temple was out with a back injury for the second straight day; freshman defensive tackle J.R. Tavai suffered a hamstring injury midway through practice and had to exit.
10 players sported patches on the right side of their uniforms at practice Friday as a reward for leading the team in GPA. Those included Kennard, Barkley and center Khaled Holmes...Kiffin said suspended running back Marc Tyler has been participating in supervised weight-room workouts inside Heritage Hall while the rest of the Trojans are not in the facility....Puyallup, Wa. offensive tackle Josh Garnett watched practice Friday and talked with Matt Kalil afterward on the field. Garnett visited with USC's basketball coaches earlier Friday to discuss potentially playing both sports for the Trojans...USC added four walk-ons to the roster Friday, including offensive lineman John Katnik, the cousin of former center Norm Katnik.