Much like USC’s last round of two-a-days, Wednesday’s practices meant a light, morning session followed by a fully padded one in the evening. Not much happened in the morning run, save for the fact that WR Marqise Lee returned to the practice field, albeit in a yellow no-contact jersey and no shoulder pads. It was a welcome site though, and one that was not just a bluff: Lee suited up in full pads for the evening session and did catch some passes in the early stages of practice.
WR Nelson Agholor also returned to practice after sitting out yesterday, and got reps with the first team when Lee sat out of contact drills.
On the injury front, more and more players continue to sustain minor–and sometimes more serious–dings as camp chugs along. On Tuesday, Kiffin told the media that 19 scholarship athletes sat out with injury. Add four more bodies to the casualty count: 23 guys sat out of the night practice on Wednesday, the most significant being S Dion Bailey. He went down during 7-on-7 drills and limped off the field. He did not return and in his place, Ryan Dillard got reps with the first team. Bailey’s injury, if major, could be a serious blow to the Trojan secondary, one already lacking in experience.
In an interesting depth chart move, OL Aundrey Walker moved to right guard on Wednesday, where he got time with the first team over John Martinez, who ran with that of the second. Head Coach Lane Kiffin confirmed to the media that there is now a competition being held at that position. Chad Wheeler–who had a very impressive showing when he stepped in for Walker while he was out with injury–is now the clear favorite at left tackle.
As a whole, Kiffin praised the offense’s efforts on Wednesday, adding that it did a much better job of holding onto the ball in the evening than in the morning. He also continues to praise RB Buck Allen, who is hard at work climbing the depth chart at his position.
On defense, Kiffin said that freshman DL Kenny Bigelow is handling the transition to nose tackle very well. With veterans Antwaun Woods and Cody Temple out, Bigelow got first team reps in their place.
USC returns for its 13th day of Fall Camp on Thursday, Aug. 15.