Clay Helton Notes From Day 3

1) Very happy with better depth on both the OL (true 2-deep) and DL.

2) All QBs need to work on throwing it quicker, but are reacting to increased pressure well.

3) Toa Lobendahn is “rusty” as a snapper. Brett Neilon and Chuma Edoga have impressed. Edoga’s focus has improved and he’s taking on his role better with an emphasis on “a play at a time. He’s just doing his job and focusing on his task (better).”

4) JT’s strong points are his “terrific arm strength and his accuracy. He doesn’t miss many throws, but we need to speed him up just a hair.”

5) With the depth USC has now, practices will be more physical. “We’re gonna play ball. That’s the biggest thing. You can go live football when you have these type of numbers as long as you are healthy. We need live reps.”

6) Ced Ware is now almost 215 pounds, up from 195 last year. He is playing with a greater sense of urgency and consistency and reminds Helton of Justin Davis and Buck Allen as seniors. Shows better “burst” and looks like he has the ability to be an every-down back that has the capability to hit home runs too.

 

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AZTrojan
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The lack of depth has been the elephant in the room for several years now and really has impacted our physicality in games. Hopefully this will no longer be an issue.

TrojanRJJ
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The one drawback on the staff is Tee is about 3,000 hours short as an OC. His OTJ learning really showed last year. Should improve this year, but he will still be learning.

Paul_Muad_dib
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The “3 Headed Monster” was learning on the job last year.

TrojanRJJ
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The one point I forgot to make on why I am very excited about this year is the coaching. I think the coaching will improve significantly. I agree with the author of “Outliers” that it takes 10,000 hours of doing a job to learn it. Put another way, one cannot evaluate how good a person is at a job until about 10,000 hours in. The best criticism of the Helton hire, IMO, was he lacked those 10,000 hours and hence could not be evaluated – USC HC should not be a first job! Well, allowing for 3,000 hours a year… Read more »

Bobbo
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Actually, it was PC’s second year. We lost at WSU with a missed a very makeable field goal in OT. If we had won that game, we probably would have played in the NC instead of the Orange Bowl where we destroyed Iowa.

Paul_Muad_dib
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That game is Wazzu’s claim to fame still to this day lol

Golden Trojan
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On the positive, JT needs to speed up “just a hair”. Sounds like he is not far off from D-1 speed, making the jump from high school speed. grin Lots of other positive stuff, feels like SC is fully back.

Golden Trojan
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One negative in the notes, “Toa Lobendahn is “rusty” as a snapper”. What has he been doing all summer? Didn’t he know he is the #1 Center? Hopefully it is just getting up to live play speed from casual summer speed. Don’t want to see the sloppy snaps, especially in shot gun, like we’ve seen in the past. hmm

TrojanRJJ
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What is great is Toa has legitimate competition – both Neilon and Dedich can play and probably have much higher potential. If Toa cannot figure it out, he will most likely be benched.

Bobbo
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Because he hasn’t played center in awhile. The rust will come off through contact and 11 on 11 scrimmaging. He couldn’t do that until now. Come on, give him a little break. wink

Rock2112
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Am I missing something? Do you need a Camp of any kind or access to Howard Jones Field to practice snapping? Hell, you can practice that in your GARAGE, maybe with a friend or roommate behind you — or just a NET! This one bothers me too. This has more potential to get WORSE when the pads go on, me thinks … not better. Lobendahn then has to worry about heavy contact right after he snaps. Pads make you less mobile too.

LawyerJohn
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And let us not forget Carr along with Ware. 2 equally-talented running backs are better than 1. And the quarterback coach in the L.A. Times this morning boasted how much the returning quarterbacks had improved from their average spring showings. And Troy now has a 2-deep Offensive line? Maybe SC will be able to move the ball afterall.

Bobbo
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And Stepp has gotten rave reviews about how quick he is. No one figured a 230 lb back from the Midwest would be this quick. Sounds very promising. Dare I say, Lyndale White-ish????

Terrific Tommy
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No kidding John. If we’re being honest, it should be mostly about Carr. Yeah, this news about Ware is great — but If healthy, Carr is one of those 5-star RBs who we rarely see — and on top of that, he is a very good receiver, blocker and has great moves. IMHO, he is one of the keys to a great 2018 season. beg

Terrific Tommy
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Wow — Ware has put on 20 pounds. That is very, very significant IMO. cool

ATL D.D.S.
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That’s great as long as his stamina isn’t affected. As Rock has brought up in a recent post reply, he insight-fully emphasizes our need to have a great running game to open up the passing game for our potentially good to great starting QB (whoever that may be). We are going to need Ced Ware to pound the heck out of defenses, especially in the 4th quarter…..

Bobbo
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Don’t forget about Stepp. He sounds like he is ready, too. He is 230 lbs. and the coaches say he’s quick.

ATL D.D.S.
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I like, I like. Nothing like a pile-driver running back in the fourth quarter to take the fight out of an opponent’s defense.

Rock2112
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If the o-line can get it together, I am VERY excited about the SC running game in 2018. I think we might be able to steal some thunder from the Bryce Love Heisman campaign.

Petero
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I like the new approach to fall practice. Hope it pays dividends all September and beyond. Clay seems to be stepping up his coaching.

Golden Trojan
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Helton is able to do that now that they have depth and experience. The proof will come in 4 or 5 weeks. Can’t wait.