Practice 10 — Full Pads

Competition Tuesday: live team run-work with full crowd noise was a high-level session.

1) Injury update: OT Andrew Vorhees will be out until next week while still rehabbing from offseason minor knee surgery; Frosh LB Solomon Tuliaupupu has had the last screw removed from his foot (Mater Dei injury). He’ll start to run on the water treadmill soon. His prognosis is good, he’s really feeling good, but he still has a ways to go; Frosh RB Markese Stepp is under concussion protocol. “It’s all based on testing.”

2) Defensive standouts: DL Jay Tufele, OLB Hunter Echols (getting a lot of reps with Porter Gustin out), ILB Kana’i Mauga (hi-level of play, “Can become an emergency stack linebacker, if needed.”), CB Greg Johnson (the only DB highlighted: “He’s competing at a very high level. I really like what he is doing.”).

3) Impressive OLs: OG/OT Alijah Vera-Tucker has looked good filling in for Andrew Vorhees. Though he missed today’s practice with an ankle, Austin Jackson has been extremely impressive overall.

4) Helton on QBs: “USC’s early schedule placement will not determine how QBs are evaluated as the potential starter. “I’m gonna sit down after this weekend and kind of look at the two pre-season games (scrimmages) and kind of see where we are. It doesn’t mean I’m making a final decision.

“After one pre-season game, both myself and (QB) coach (Bryan) Ellis sat down with the quarterbacks and visited with them and told them exactly what their strengths in this camp have been and where their areas of improvement need to be to win the job. We’re taking the time to provide clarity for them and what they need to improve on for these upcoming weeks.

“I’m really gonna see the summation of a lot of practices and some pre-season games before making a decision. The best quarterback will play.”

5) Youth: DL Connor Murphy is getting a lot of reps too, as is DL Liam Jimmons and OLB Juliano Falaniko and OLB Porter Gustin is helping out like a coach on the field. “The young kids are playing a lot. The good Lord is watching after us. Our youth is finally showing up. We’ve had to redshirt some kids last year and let them grow up and now we are seeing the dividends. Lord help us, knock on wood, that we stay healthy. We have a true 2 – 2 ½ deep now that’s pretty dang solid.”

6) Jay Tufele: “He’s having a great camp. You could tell about him in the spring. He’s putting in the extra work. He’s the first one in study hall and the last one to leave. You can’t get him out of the weight room. He’s the guy that’s taking care of his body. It’s a credit to him. He’s becoming a mature soul. I’ve put it out in front of the entire team. When things are going right for you off the field, it’s gonna happen on the field too.”

7) 2018 team: “In the first three games, it’s not gonna really be about the quarterback. It’ll be about us playing great team football, playing great defense and playing great special teams. We’re really gonna have to lean on the run early in the season to take the pressure off the quarterbacks.”

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Gabby
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“The young kids are playing a lot.”

Knowing how stubborn Clancy is about playing backups, will this transfer over to real games?

Golden Trojan
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“Knowing how stubborn Clancy is about playing backups”. Where does that come from? Has he made statements to that effect or was he just limited by lack of depth?

Gabby
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No disrespect, but how closely have you followed Clancy’s handling of the defense at key moments in the second half of games. Here, read this https://reignoftroy.com/2017/08/04/usc-football-defensive-rotation-clancy-pendergast-2017-roster/

Steveg
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AS Helton says, the best QB will play. That is in the opinion of the coaching staff, not the media, who are looking for the big cinderella story to fill their columns and daily chatter.

Bobbo
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Very glad to hear Connor Murphy’s name. I have always thought that we would need him to step up to a high level of play to really make it into the elite level teams. We need more quality DL’s than even 2 full lines. Have to say, ever since he got hurt at Wazzu I have felt that Greg Johnson was going to be the starter. Didn’t know how he would except to beat out Jones. It has just seemed that he is a physical specimen that DC Pendergast craves. He’s big and tall. Much better fit to this coach’s… Read more »

Gabby
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“I just received my tickets to the Texas game:

Sweet! (I’m jealous)……….Fight On!

Bobbo
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Thanks Gabby. I am really looking forward to this game. However, it will be the first time I have walked into that stadium wearing a “Fight On!” shirt. I have gone to so many games there wearing “Hook ’em Horns!” stuff it will, I am sure, be very visceral. I grew up a UT fan…and went there for awhile before transferring to USC. To this day, I have lots of love for the Horns and root for them ALMOST every week. But I can’t wait to be in Austin once more. I haven’t been there since the summer of 2005… Read more »

Gabby
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Back in 2002, I had a job offer in Austin, but it was vetoed by my wife and kids. I’ve always had a lot of respect for the Texas football program, except for one particular night at the Rose Bowl with 19 seconds left in the game(LOL). I’m sure it will be a memorable event. Thanks for sharing your story