The importance of scrimmage stats proved their worth this week when freshman tailback Stafon Johnson went to the scout team. Johnson gained 323 yards in 39 carries, an average of 8.3 yards per carry in four scrimmages.
The current No. 1 tailback, freshman C.J. Gable, gained 211 yards in 25 carries, for 8.4 yards per carry. Emmanuel Moody, probably the No. 3 back, gained 191 yards in 26 carries (7.3 yards).
So whats the difference? Among the many factors that go into such decisions, one insider said maturity played a key role. That meant knowing what youre supposed to be doing, whether on the field or in a meeting. Continue reading →
Freshman basketball players Daniel Hackett and Taj Gibson received permission from the Pac-10 to sit in on classes even though they are not cleared by the NCAA. Gibson said he will attend classes tomorrow.
Hackett said he is hopeful to hear from the NCAA by the end of the week, although no one really knows when the Clearinghouse will act on the players’ transcripts.
Pete Carroll said Chauncey Washington probably needs a full week of practice to be available for the Arkansas game. Washington hopes to return Saturday.
Stafon Johnson spent his second day on the scout team as C.J. Gable increasingly heads toward his first career start at tailback.
Brian Cushing also looks like a starter, whether it’s labeled defensive end or linebacker when the depth chart is revealed.
With a No. 1-ranked recruiting class, its almost impossible to really find a “surprise prospect. The four freshmen tailbacks, including Allen Bradford, were well known in high school and are being scrutinized the most because of the nature of the position.
Tight end Anthony McCoys been the biggest revelation. Maybe the most physically imposing tight end in recent memory even though hes a freshman. He weighed 235 pounds at USCs summer camp a year ago as a wide receiver, but is now a gifted 265-pound tight end.
That said, perhaps the truest surprise of camp is safety Garrett Green, who continually works with the No. 2 defense. Green was one of the last players offered a scholarship last winter and until last week took snaps as the fourth-string quarterback.
But even with the glut of young safeties on the roster, Green keeps finding a way into the mix when the second-team defense is on the field. His safety skills were known to anyone who watched him in high school, but USC always insisted he would be a quarterback, especially after John David Bootys back surgery and Mark Sanchezs legal troubles last spring.
Based upon that, Greens probably been the surprise of camp.
One rumor making the rounds since last week’s season-ending injury to Brandon Hancock is that linebacker Thomas Williams might move to fullback. But offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin said it is not under consideration.
If Chauncey Washington is unable to return in time for the Arkansas game, this is the order I would imagine the freshman tailbacks being used if a game were today.
1. C.J. Gable
2. Allen Bradford
3. Stafon Johnson
4. Emmanuel Moody
Bradford and Johnson could possibly flip-flop, depending on whether the coaches decide they need a big back in the game.
Chauncey Washington only ran one play and did not feel much progress in his hamstring. His status for the Arkansas game appears in jeopardy.
“I’ll probably take it easy until Saturday,” Washington said. “I can get into second gear but when I go faster I can feel a stretch.
“If I had to I would rather sit out Arkansas and come back healthy for Nebraska.”
Chauncey Washington is back practicing right now at the outset but his participation is limited. Meanwhile, tight end Jimmy Miller’s arm is in sling. Wide receiver Chris McFoy is out with a strained neck.
Washington only ran one play during drills but did some light work beforehand.
Practice is officially closed although there still are people watching.
USC fullback Brandon Hancock will be joining KSPN 710-AM as a weekly contributor and insider, and will be a part of the pre-game show for the season-opener against Arkansas. Hancock’s career ended last week when he tore knee ligaments for the second time.
An NFL scout attended recent scrimmages at USC and UCLA and found some similarities, particularly in the secondary.
“Theyre very similar, I didnt see much difference, the scout said. “UCLA held their own.
But the scout admitted being impressed with the speed of USCs front seven.
“Thats where they were impressive, the scout said. “Theyre extremely fast, especially with (Rey) Maualuga and (Brian) Cushing.