The Trojans held an afternoon throwing session Thursday at Howard Jones Field. A good portion of the team was there including the offensive and defensive linemen. The players started with an 11-on-11 period, and then broke into some 7-on-7 and 1-on-1 drills at the end of a nearly two-hour workout.
All four quarterbacks attended the workout and all had good moments. Mitch Mustain is still limited by the PRK eye surgery that he underwent a few weeks ago to help his vision in his left eye. He said the eye is still a bit blurry and sensitive to light, but he still got some throws in today.
Matt Barkley really looked impressive throwing the ball today. He had really good zip on his passes and made some good reads during the 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 drills. His best throw of the day came on a perfectly placed seam route to Ronald Johnson.
Barkley looks very comfortable leading the guys in the huddle and is already very popular among his teammates. The players jokingly call him “the new guy.”
“He’s a good kid. Fundamentally, he’s really strong and more developed than most freshmen that you see,” Damian Williams said. “He’s really eager to learn, and I love that about him.
“He fits in really well with the team and I think he is going to be a good guy to have here.”
Aaron Corp had a good performance during the workouts today. He looks to have assumed more of a leadership role and has been more assertive on the field. Corp connected with Travon Patterson for a 40-yard touchdown pass early in the 11-on-11 session.
C.J. Gable and Curtis McNeal were the two running backs that participated in the drills today and McNeal was one of the top performers of the day. He is so quick and shifty that defenders often come up empty handed when in pursuit of the pint-sized tailback. He looked good catching the ball out of the backfield and is so elusive with the ball in his hands. McNeal is a guy that the coaches will look to get the ball in space this year.
Wide receiver Brice Butler continues to impress with his route running ability and should be a contributor in the passing game in ‘09. Butler will battle with David Ausberry and Travon Patterson to be the no.3 receiver this year. All three guys do different things, so they all should be used in different situations.
Ronald Johnson and Damian Williams continue to be two of the hardest working players on the team, which is a great example for the rest of the wide receivers.
On the defensive side Chris Galippo, Malcolm Smith and Michael Morgan were the three starting linebackers. Shareece Wright and Josh Pinkard were the starting cornerbacks today. Kevin Thomas didn’t attend the workout.
Former USC linebacker Thomas Williams worked out with the team and commented on how hard this group has been working. He said he was pleasantly surprised to see so many players attending a throwing session this early in the offseason.
Ronald Johnson watches the ball into his hands.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can reach Kevin Carden at firstname.lastname@example.org