Wednesday practice quick hits

LOS ANGELES -- Here are news and notes from Wednesday's no-pads two-hour practice session that won't make it into our other coverage from the day.

Talking about tiers

Coach Lane Kiffin was all about defining the depth chart Wednesday, referring to his players strictly in terms of tiers during his post-practice session with the media.

First-tier players are starters, second-tier guys are key reserves, and third-tier ones might be needed depth. Whether it goes down to a fourth tier is unknown.

But Kiffin spotlighted four so-called second-tier players for their preparation and playbook knowledge this camp: receiver Nelson Agholor, running backs Silas Redd and D.J. Morgan and left tackle Max Tuerk.

None of the four are starters, but all four figure to play this year. And, interestingly, three of the four haven't been with the team before this summer.

The tier-by-tier description is fitting, Kiffin said, because of the varying amount of readiness the Trojans have displayed in fall camp. Some have proved ready for the season opener; some have proved they won't even be ready by the time it comes around.

"We have some guys who could go play today and some guys who aren’t close," Kiffin said. "So you have all different levels. I think they are in the time of dragging because you’re not really in game week yet but you’ve been going against each other for so long.

"So we kinda change things up."

Woods and Lee

ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit named Marqise Lee the top receiver in the country in his annual Herbie Awards this week, and that sparked more comparisons between Lee and Woods among those around the team.

Enter into the debate the two pass-catchers' position coach, Tee Martin, who was insistent on not directly comparing the two players but offered some perspective on what Woods can still do quite well.

"Robert wants to be great, and I see that in him," Martin said Wednesday. "I see that motivation, I see that drive, and he loves being out here. What I see every day from Robert Woods, to be a college receiver and to already have done what he's done as a freshman and a sophomore, it's hard for me to compare him to a lot of people."

Woods caught 65 passes for 792 yards and six touchdowns as a freshman, then upgraded to 111 catches for 1292 yards and 15 touchdowns as a sophomore. Added with Lee's 1143-yard freshman season and the quarterbacking prowess of one Matt Barkley, the assumption is that the Trojans will pursue a pass-heavy attack.

Martin says that's not necessarily the case.

"We have not thought about what team we're gonna be," Martin said. "We don't really like think like that going into games. We try to find a weakness, trying to find ways to get our playmakers the ball.

"But I would not want to gameplan against us as a defensive coordinator."

Injury report

Defensive end Wes Horton (ankle) and Morgan (knee) were not present on the practice field for Wednesday's shorter session.

Cornerback Torin Harris (hamstring) and linebacker Lamar Dawson (calf) stayed on the sideline throughout the session. Both players have missed the last week-plus of workouts with their respective injuries.

Tight end Christian Thomas, out all year with hip issues, was at practice for the second straight day and dressed, but he did not appear. Defensive end Greg Townsend did not practice.

There are still several other players who have not practiced at all this camp, including defensive end Devon Kennard and running back Tre Madden, who are expected to be out for the 2012 season, and cornerback Brian Baucham, defensive tackle Cody Temple (foot) and offensive lineman David Garness.

Final notes: Kiffin said he had no news on the status of USC's three academically ineligible players, receiver Darreus Rogers, linebacker Marquis Simmons and cornerback Isiah Wiley. ... The Trojans once again practiced on Dedeaux Field and could continue there until Sunday, when they'll start preparing for their season opener against Hawaii. ... Linebacker Dion Bailey was icing his injured shoulder near the end of Wednesday's practice.