Football is back at Troy, as Lane Kiffin’s USC Trojans kicked off their spring camp practice at Howard Jones Field tonight.
Here’s some quick hits:
The Good:The biggest play of practice came late in scrimmage drills, when redshirt freshman outside linebacker/defensive end Jabari Ruffin had a leaping interception off a Cody Kessler pass to the right side, and followed it up with a lateral return across the field, as he tried to break out. Ruffin, slender and seemingly more active than during last year’s workouts, stood out on defense, in addition to Su’a Cravens. The true freshman safety didn’t have standout plays per se, but it is his pursuit of the ball and sensing of the ball that looks an awful lot like Troy Polamalu or Kevin Ellison.
Running back Tre Madden has recovered nicely from the ACL injury that cost him the 2012 season. Bigger, faster and proverbially stronger, he looked as good as one can in the first practice of camp.
With the Trojans starting the quarterback competition this week, it’s important for Max Wittek, Cody Kessler, or Max Browne to make a big, early impression. Today was not that day. Mind you, it’s early and defenses are always ahead of the offense at the beginning of camp, but none of the three looked particularly sharp on Tuesday. Wittek and Kessler got the majority of the reps, while Browne picked up the scraps. With Wittek, the biggest concern has to be catch-ability with his receivers. His balls were extremely hot, which did not make it easy on his wide outs.
It’s hard to give an “Ugly” for the first practice of spring camp, so let’s take the liberty here and give it to Ndamukong Suh because, why not?