USC Football News: Cameron Smith Exceeds Expectations, More Spring Camp Notes


Today in USC football news from spring camp, the defense continues to display its dominance while early enrollee Cameron Smith is exceeding expectations.

Smith came away with one of the Trojan defense’s four interceptions on the day, his second in as many days.

The freshman middle linebacker was the least heralded of USC’s four signees at the position for 2015, but he has used the first half of spring camp to make an impression on coaches and observers.

“What’s he’s shown is that he’s a better athlete than we gave him credit for,” Steve Sarkisian said after practice Saturday, via Evan Budrovich.

Though the early enrollees have unsurprisingly had their trials this spring, Smith stands out among them as one who is taking full advantage of his head start.

Smith could become a legitimate contender for the middle linebacker starting job left open by Hayes Pullard’s departure if he continues along this path.

Interceptions for Everyone

It is hard to gauge the importance of interceptions in spring camp when it comes to positives for the defense or negatives for the offense, but one thing is clear: USC defenders know how to get their hands on the ball.

After forcing five turnovers on Tuesday, the Trojan defense nabbed four interceptions Saturday, with Su’a Cravens, Kevon Seymour, Lamont Simmons and Smith all getting in on the action, via Michael Lev.

Sarkisian praised Simmons for his “heckuva interception,” via Scott Wolf.

Other Notes:

  • Ajene Harris tweaked his hamstring on Thursday and did not practice today, via Adam Maya. That is the same injury which hampered him throughout the 2014 season.
  • Steve Mitchell caught an 80-yard touchdown pass from Cody Kessler after burning a linebacker, via Michael Lev.
  • Quinton Powell and Khaliel Rodgers missed practice for personal reasons.
  • Chris Matthews, of Seahawks Super Bowl game, talked to the receivers about working hard, via Shotgun Spratling.

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