Tailback Chauncey Washington will not start according to Pete Carroll but Washington did have one of his best practices and said he is “good to go.”
“I think I can start but it’s up to the coaches,” Washington said.
Wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett suited up but did not practice because of a sore throat while linebacker Brian Cushing returns Wednesday from back spasms.
While Chauncey Washington’s hamstring draws the lion’s share of attention, linebacker Brian Cushing’s back spasms probably should draw more concern. Although Cushing is expected to return Wednesday, his status is more important because he might be the most critical player on defense. The Trojans can play a 4-3 or 3-4 defense with him in the lineup.
Without Cushing, USC is more likely to rely on a traditional 4-3 with Kyle Moore at defensive end.
Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Matt Leinart and USC womens basketball player Brynn Cameron of Newbury Park are expecting a baby boy in November, according to sources. Cameron, who is a junior, will redshirt this season and return to the basketball team next season and earn her degree while Leinart plays for the Arizona Cardinals.
Although USC practiced in shorts, tailback Chauncey Washington said he feels 100 percent and thinks he can play against Arkansas. He said there is still some lingering tightness in his hamstring.
“I feel like I’m going to play but it’s up to the coaches,” Washington said.
The big test is tomorrow when USC practices in full pads.
“I feel I can go out there and practice after today,” Washington said.
The Arkansas game is a sellout. For those keeping score, last year, six of seven USC games away from the Coliseum were sellouts: all regular season matches, except Washington, and, of course, the Rose Bowl.
Michael Coleman is scheduled to return to practice today. Besides dealing with a death in the family, Colemans also frustrated over the slow recovery of his hip. One explanation is that he returned too soon from his injury (or that he was brought back too fast) and required a second operation.
In a previous post (April 17, 2006), I detailed the problems USCs faced with athletes and hip injuries when the surgery was performed in Southern California.
Middle linebacker Rey Maualuga, who might start against Arkansas, said he’s much more knowledgeable with the defense than a year ago.
“Last year, my goal was to just fit in and get comfortable with the scheme,” Maualuga said. “Now I’m getting down to business. I’ve got all my checks down. It’s a huge difference.”
Gerald Washington went back to tight end from defensive end last week following a brief trial on defense. Washington did not particularly enjoy the new position and when Lawrence Jackson returned from injury, it was not necessary to keep him on defense for depth.
It’s the only position switch of camp that got reversed.