Morning Briefing: Lobendahn Moves To Guard, George Farmer Is Coming Along and Other Bullets


Mar 11, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of the line of scrimmage as Southern California Trojans snapper Zach Smith (60) snaps the ball at spring practice at Howard Jones Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Three & Out:

  1. Toa Lobendahn At Guard: Early enrollee Toa Lobendahn is getting his chances, there’s no doubt about that. The 6’3 offensive lineman started out the spring behind Max Tuerk and Khaliel Rodgers at center. Now back from spring break, Lobendahn saw first team reps at left guard. Part of that is a result of the injuries which continue to limit so many players, but take nothing away from the youngster who has impressed the coaching staff in such a short time. Steve Sarkisian praised him after Tuesday’s practice, particularly his coachability. Mixed in to that praise was a message to both Lobendahn and the competition he faces for a starting spot — “We came out of the first week thinking this guy’s got a real chance.”
  2. Pad Level Is the Key to Success: If you’ve watched any of Sarkisian’s post-practice media scrums this spring then you’ve definitely heard the phrase “pad level.” He talks about it all the time, mostly in reference to improving it“Low man wins in football,” Sarkisian said. “When people get fatigue they have a tendency to stand up. Its a lot harder to keep that base, to be in a really good football position. That’s why we tax them as hard as we do — to get them understanding what it’s gonna take physically and mentally to play with great pad level, to be in that low winning position which is critical for any good football team, I don’t care what pace you operate at.”His point is an important one and one which has been noticeably weak at USC over the past few years. Despite talented players available, the Trojans have done a poor job controlling the line of scrimmage. If Sarkisian successfully transforms the team in just this one sense, the payoff will be visible immediately.
  3. George Farmer is coming along: Sarkisian’s appearance on Trojan’s Live Tuesday night produced plenty of interesting nuggets, including his perspective on the running back rotation. The head coach also revealed a bit on the progress of injured wide outs George Farmer and Steven Mitchell. Unfortunately Mitchell is not there yet when it comes to fitness, but Sarkisian had good news on Farmer, who is getting a chance to revive his Trojan career after a string of devastating injuries. According to Sarkisian, Farmer had an “excellent practice” Tuesday and has proven his ability to do damage in one-on-one settings.

They said it:

"“If they feel like they have the time to yap at the guy across them them then we’re not getting the ball snapped fast enough.” — Steve Sarkisian, on clashes in practice."

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