USC Football Spring Practice: Helton Wants to Name QB in Spring

Mar 3, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Max Browne (4) throws a pass at spring practice at Cromwell Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 3, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Max Browne (4) throws a pass at spring practice at Cromwell Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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Clay Helton said he intends to name a quarterback at the end of spring after USC football’s first spring practice of 2016.

After the first USC football practice of the 2016 season, Clay Helton told reporters that he would like to name a starting quarterback by the end of spring. However, if there is enough of a battle he is willing to let it flow into fall camp.

Max Browne took the field the clear leader after serving as Cody Kessler’s understudy for two years and had the air of a starter already.

His challengers, Sam Darnold, Jalen Greene and Matt Fink got in their first practice as well but it’ll take time for the pecking order to shake out.

Three Stars of the Day

  1. Ajene Harris: Back from the injury that held him out for the 2015 season, Harris looked bright catching the ball, making several impressive grabs.
  2. Porter Gustin: The formidable pass rusher started spring off right by logging a sack during the final five challenge. He also benefited from Scott Felix’s absence as he battles for a starting place.
  3. Max Browne: Browne called the starting job his to lose and after one day of spring camp that statement rings true. He looked sharp throwing deep and commanded the field like the starter.

From the Notebook

  • Cameron Smith was present but did not participate. That was also the case for Quinton Powell, Leon McQuay and Chris Hawkins. Toa Lobendahn and Khaliel Rodgers sat out most drills but were both available to snap for the quarterbacks in throwing drills.
  • Freshman receivers Michael Pittman and Josh Imatorbhebhe finished up their first collegiate practice with varying results. Pittman had the better day of the two while Imatorbhebhe was clearly still adjusting but had some bright moments..
  • Though he is listed as a defensive end on the new roster, John Houston saw time at inside linebacker during 7-on-7 drills.
  • Jonathan Lockett had a nice pass break up while Deion Hart earned cheers from his teammates with an interception during 1-on-1 drills.
  • Taylor McNamara missed practice due to illness while Don Hill is sitting out spring due to a violation of team rules, via Ryan Abraham.
  • Scott Felix was not present for practice. Helton said his status is still undetermined, via Annenberg TV Sports.