Saturday, August 13, 2011
Rhett Ellison gets mid-practice stitches
By Pedro Moura
USC tight end/fullback Rhett Ellison cut open his left hand on a special-teams drill early in Saturday's no-pads practice at Howard Jones Field, but he quickly received stitches to repair the wound and is expected to play in Sunday's scrimmage at the Coliseum.
Ellison, a senior, has been one of the Trojans' best players in fall camp this year, according to coach Lane Kiffin. Switching between tight end and fullback as the coaches attempt to figure out which position they have more talent behind him at, he's picked up the lingo and terminology in the backfield quicker than expected.
As a fullback, Ellison also allows the Trojans more short-pass options, although Kiffin didn't call many plays designed to get Stanley Havili the ball from that spot in 2010. Ellison caught 21 balls for 239 yards and three touchdowns last season as the Trojans' No. 1 tight end and had 10 total catches in his first two years suiting up for USC.
A 6-foot-5, 250-pounder, Ellison's bigger than normal for the fullback position. But playing him there allows Kiffin and Co. to get some of their talented second-year tight ends on the field and keeps them from rushing freshman Soma Vainuku onto the field right away at fullback.
He's played a little bit there in the past while subbing in for an injured Havili.