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Monday, April 25, 2011
USC spring notes

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

LOS ANGELES -- One of the coachspeak quotes that often raises an eyebrow from the media is the ole, "We're young" declaration. Sometimes it's true, of course. But even so, it seems like a ready-made excuse.

But when USC coach Lane Kiffin throws it out -- "We're going to be extremely young" -- he recites numbers that back him up.

Matt Barkley
With uncertainty at several positions, USC will be relying heavily on returning quarterback Matt Barkley.
The Trojans have just 12 scholarship seniors and 14 scholarship juniors, he said. Further, 12 players on the two-deep sat out spring practices. Eight players who did participate this spring are early enrollees from this February's recruiting class. In the fall, 23 first-year players arrive.

That means 35 players who aren't participating this spring will be new to competition for playing time during preseason camp. In other words, the USC you saw -- or read about -- this spring isn't really going to be the USC that shows up this fall.

At least, that's the hope for Kiffin, because things were far from pretty -- particularly on offense -- this spring.

Some notes.