USC Football: Trojan Player Only Summer Throwing Sessions Begin with 74 Athletes

Bill N@@Bill_N1Correspondent IJune 3, 2011

At least 74 football players participated in the first throwing sessions on June 2, in a very structured and organized “practice,” but player-run with no coaches.

They look like there's more talent at the skill positions, more depth, more speed and better conditioning than the previous two seasons.  Checkout this video from  and another one from and see if you agree.

Here are more photos from

It has been a while since the Trojan Huddle-Spring Game so it is great to see footballs in the air.

The big news is that Devon Kennard is now with the defensive line instead of linebacker, and it appears that he will play more of an elephant role like Brian Cushing and Clay Matthews

This was first reported in Bleacher Report on May 20 and then confirmed by Michael Lev in the Orange County Register on June 3.  He will come off the edge in both a two- and three-point stance opposite Nick Perry, who was one of the few players not participating.

Six new freshmen recruits participated: Cyrus Hobbi, Cody Temple, Junior Pomee, Kris Albarado, Ryan Henderson and Charles Burks.

The offense lined up with junior QB Matt Barkley running the show and redshirt freshman Jesse Scroggins going second, and the two freshmen scholarship QBs, Max Wittek and Cody Kessler, getting their turns.  

Redshirt freshman D.J. Morgan started at TB and looked 100 percent for the first time.  Freshman Soma Vainuku, sophomore Hunter Simmons and the rookie Burks shared the FB spot.  Marc Tyler was missing possible due to class conflicts as was the case with other players.

Senior Rhett Ellison looked very good at Tight End with all three redshirt freshmen, Xavier Grimble, Christian Thomas and Randall Telfer, alternating and often going in the two TE sets. Freshman Pomee also looked impressive as a big athlete who runs really well.

Sophomore Robert Woods was at wide receiver with senior Brandon Carswell, junior Brice Butler, redshirt freshman Markeith AmblesRobbie Boyer and others getting into the rotation. Redshirt freshman Kyle Prater is ready but will hold off until next week before being cleared for full participation.  Butler is very happy to return to the Trojans as discussed in this Los Angeles Times article by Gary Klein.

On the OL, junior Matt Kalil was at left tackle next to guard sophomore John Martinez with junior Khaled Holmes at center. Junior Abe Markowitz looks like his broken foot rehab went well. Right guard was senior Martin Coleman with junior JC transfer Jeremy Galten at tackle. 

Defense lined up with senior DaJohn Harris and redshirt freshman George Uko at tackle, and junior Wes Horton and sophomore Kevin Greene at the ends.  Senior Christian Tupou is waiting until the beginning of fall practice on August 4 to be sure with his knee, and senior Armond Armstead still awaits medical clearance.

Linebackers were senior Chris Galippo at MLB with sophomore Marqise Simmons and senior Shane Horton on the outside.

Defensive backs included junior T.J. McDonald and senior Marshall Jones at safety. Sophomore Nickell Robey was at one corner with a several players at the other. Junior Tony Burnett was absent with track still going. Junior safety Drew McAlister is 100 percent and looks really big and strong. 

Freshman CB Henderson from Moreno Valley Rancho Verde had amazing physical testing results with an 11’3” broad jump and a 42” vertical. The coaches told some of the players that the best in the broad jump ever was 6’5” Calvin Johnson's 11’4” when he was at Georgia Tech.

There is lots of depth on the defense, which is a lot different from last year.

The guys are very tight and all on the same page. The basic feeling was that the NCAA gave them 12 games this year and anything else is out of their control. They will look at it one game at a time. They are going to play as if it's the Trojans against the world and just stick to the boys in Indianapolis. 

With 82 scholarship players in 2011 compared to only 71 last season, the Trojans have the depth and talent to do it.