The fifth practice of USC football spring camp was a lively full pads affair featuring some familiar faces on the sidelines.
“It was great to have legends out here today,” head coach Clay Helton said on Thursday, referencing the presence of Carson Palmer and Lawrence Jackson, who stopped by practice at Howard Jones Field.
John Robinson was also on hand, adding to the star power and imparting knowledge on USC’s second-year head coach.
“I think I gain something from him every time I see him, the little words of wisdom,” Helton said.
Robinson wasn’t the only former Trojan head coach Helton had the chance to chat up this week.
On Wednesday, Pete Carroll was on campus for USC’s Pro Day. Helton took his opportunity to pick the Seahawk’s head coach’s brain as well.
“Every time I get around somebody that I think is an absolute great coach, like Coach Carroll, I try to pick things from them. And I did,” Helton said, noting the wisdom Carroll could impart about his success at USC as well as in the NFL.
That knowledge could be useful for USC this year in particular as the Trojans long stretch without a bye week resembles the strain of an NFL season, the head coach said.
Of course, that’s a long way away. USC has 10 more practices this spring, then 29 practices in the fall before the new season begins.
In the meantime, the Trojans continue to hone their skills.
News and Notes
- Running back Aca’Cedric Ware sat out with a sprained foot. He is likely to miss USC’s scrimmage on Saturday, but could be back next week.
- The Trojans Saturday scrimmage will involve live tackling, but will take place at Howard Jones Field due to a potentially rainy forecast — Helton wants to preserve the Coliseum grass.
- Sam Darnold hit Deontay Burnett for a long touchdown over the top during 7-on-7. Though the receiver hauled in the catch, he came down hard and stayed down for a moment. He was tended to by a trainer and eventually returned to action.
- In the later 11-on-11 period, Darnold found Burnett long again. The receiver went up high to make the catch on the sideline.
- Tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe was in a yellow non-contact jersey.
- Safety Jamel Cook once again flew around the field in the nickelback spot. He laid big hits on walk-on running back Chris Edmondson and receiver Velus Jones, earning praise from the head coach for his “flashes of brilliance.”
- Helton praised receiver Velus Jones for producing explosion plays consistently in practice.
- Lineman Andrew Vorhees also drew accolades from Helton for his early progress at right tackle behind Roy Hemsley.
- Cornerback Ajene Harris batted a Darnold pass down at the line of scrimmage during 11-on-11.
- Cornerback Jack Jones broke up another Darnold pass intended for Keyshawn “Pie” Young.