USC Football Quotes: Coaches, Players React to Day 4 of Fall Camp (8/7)

USC quarterbacks during practice at Howard Jones Field. (Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy)
USC quarterbacks during practice at Howard Jones Field. (Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy) /

USC football’s fourth day of fall camp marked the last on campus for a few days. With a Coliseum practice looming, Day 4 was all about the little things.

Afterwards, offensive players and coaches spoke about those little things and where USC’s key offensive units are at early in camp.

Speaking to the media were a trio of new coaches for the Trojans, including quarterbacks coach Tyson Helton, offensive line coach Neil Callaway and returning running backs coach Tommie Robinson.

Here’s what they had to say:


On how USC talent compares to Western Kentucky…The talent here is a lot better. When I say, ‘a lot better’, I’m talking about overall. You’ve got to count the offensive line, the depth in the running back position and all of that. I thought at Western, we had several guys that were high-calibre and potential pro players. Here, you’re dealing with sure NFL football players. Not everybody is an NFL guy here, but there’s a lot of guys that you say, ‘Wow, he could be an NFL player.’

READ MORE: Practice Notes From Day 4 of Fall Camp


On battle between Toa Lobendahn and Nico Falah…Toa missed spring because of the knee, but Nico had a good spring. They’ve both done a nice job to this point. We’ll have to make a decision. I don’t know exactly when, 10 days or two weeks before we play.

On Chris Brown…Chris has done well. He’s a talented guy, like I said of all of the guys. He’s been very focused since I think about mid-spring. When we first got started, everything was new and everyone was trying to feel their way around. But since mid-spring he’s been really focused and has really done a nice job.

On overall progression of the OL…I think it’s a good bunch of guys. They’re really good people. They’re fun to be around. They like each other. They enjoy each other’s company. But I think we are talented too. The thing that we’ve got to focus on is making sure that we take care of the little things, and pay attention to detail. We can’t have any unforced penalties, like offsides, or those things. And we’ve got to communicate and be on the same page. It’s a good group. Hopefully we’ll get gelled together and see what it’s like.

On Lobendahn’s reps…He’s adding everyday. I’d say he started at about half of the team stuff, and he’s at about three quarters of the team stuff now. Hopefully in the near future, it’ll be all. But he looks good and hasn’t had any problems.

On preventing penalties…We do a lot of little things and drills. Trying to draw them offsides and things like that. So, we’ll see.

On if the physicality is where he wants it to be for Alabama…No. It’s not where we need to be, no. I think we’ve got a chance, but we’re not where we need to be.

On how to improve the physicality…Just got to practice. You are what you practice. If we practice it, we’ll be fine.


On his biggest advancement…Probably in the pass game. Just being patient and being confident in my strength and ability to lay set guys down.

On his personal goals…Obviously, my biggest goal is to keep the starting position. Keep continuing to get better with technique.

On managing high expectations for the OL as one of the nation’s best…I think it’s awesome that people are saying that. We have a lot of returning guys and a lot of experience. I definitely think we’re the veteran group of the team. Chad [Wheeler], Zach [Banner], Toa [Lobendahn], Viane [Talamaivao] and Damian [Mama] are all coming back and they’ve been a really big influence on us. I think we’ve really bonded as a group. We’re working together really well.

On new coach Neil Callaway…He’s kind of like a badass coach. He’s no BS. He really pushes every single day. There’s no soft moments with him. Everyone respects him a lot, and that’s a big thing for us to get where we are and where we’re going.

On which defensive players have challenged him the most in camp…Rasheem [Green] has always been a really great player. Stevie [Tu’ikolovatu], the new guy from Utah, is awesome. He’s a really big body and somebody I haven’t really been used to since some of the older guys left.

On whether or not Green and Tu’ikolovatu have shown areas that he needs to work on…Absolutely. Rasheem is like a powerful guy, but he also can get you with speed. And then with Stevie, he’s a really heavy guy. He can shuck you, so I’m working on staying firm and not lunging.


On where the running backs are…We’re a long ways away. We’re not even close to being where we need to be. How many days do we got before [September] 3rd? [Media chimes in with 27.]We need every minute of it. When that ball kicks off, trust me, we will have exhausted everything we’ve got to have them ready to go.

On what areas need working in the final 27 days…Well, I’m a coach. And I’m probably a typical coach, meaning we’re never satisfied. You ever know of a coach that says, ‘Hey, we’ve arrived!’? You can’t even arrive. So to answer that question, I’m going to say everything. I’m not satisfied with nothing we’re doing.

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Now, they’re getting better, but we need work on every facet of the game to make them complete backs. To get to the point where you can understand the integrity of every play you run. Understand the integrity of it. That’s what’s important to me. And to understand the integrity of every play, you have to be detailed. You have to be detailed, because you have to know what quarterback’s thinking, what the offensive line is doing, and you’ve got to be detailed. You have to know exactly how that receiver is going to block. That’s the point I’m trying to get them to go to, not just that they know their position.

On if he knows how carries will be distributed at this point…Last time I was here, we were able to get five running backs ready to play. And when they were ready, they played them. We played five of them. Who can name five of them that we played? [Media tries to answer.] We had five kids that were capable of playing, and we played five. There were some injuries here in there that didn’t allow everybody to play at the same time. But to answer your question, I can’t answer how the carries are going to be distributed. My job is to get every one of these kids prepared to play. You’ve got to ask that question 27 days from now and I’ll have a better feel for it.