Los Angeles, Ca- Can you smell it? Yes it’s Football season the first professional game has been played in the NFL and The USC Trojans have had their second practice already on Howard Jones field. SC practice tempo looked fast upbeat with the players just in helmets for first two days. Day 3 & 4 they will introduce shoulder pads and see the intensity rise just little bit more. Then this Wednesday will be first day in full pads and players will have to take it one more level.
It’s still earlier but you can appreciate how each position coach seems to be pushing their players to compete. The defensive showed that they are ready, the last 5 plays of practice is a competition. The offensive won the first two plays and had 2-0 lead, then defense stepped up winning three in row. So when dust settled they recorded a coverage sack, stuffed the run and knocked down an out route to win day 2 battle. Its great way to end practice and give little bragging rights for the day. Head coach Steve Sarkisian was pleased with his defense comeback in final 5. Sarkisian spoke on defense, “Group is playing well as a team,…and not looking for one guy to do it.” Everyone is making plays thus far and seems that they are developing a great ‘Team Identity’
We caught up with Defensive Line coach Chris Wilson to see how he felt guys were doing, “Love the big guys, they been giving nice effort, .. attention to detail.” It’s always tough to replace an all american, but this group applied pressure through out practice and all have a year under their belt in the system so they can just play football.
At then end of practice coach Sarkisian was asked about when the Blue Shirts would be on scholarship, “We have few this year and once all paperwork is done everyone will sign at once.” Some may not know what this blue shirt is all about, Sarkisian began looking at the concept few years ago when Tennessee coach Butch Jones used it. New Mexico State has been doing it for years to get few extra guys now verse later in their program. There is always a catch to everything and blue shirts is just pulling a scholarship from you next recruiting class for a “preferred” or “recruited” walk-on who pays their on way until receive that non bidding scholarship.
Let’s continue to watch this team grow and gain it’s new identity…….