Smith talks end-zone drills, linebacker outlook, more

USC linebacker Malcolm Smith has had plenty to deal with this spring, with a lingering ankle injury that limited him for several early practices and the pressure of Devon Kennard and Chris Galippo competing for one job next to him at middle linebacker.

A friendly poke at UCLA fans in a Tweet this week threatened to add more to his shoulders, but Smith dispatched any outcries with relative easy by quickly apologizing to UCLA fans. And Smith, a senior and the younger brother of former Trojan (and now-New York Giant) wide receiver Steve Smith, stood out in Tuesday's practice to USC coach Lane Kiffin. Kiffin said he noticed right away that Smith made plays on three of the first eight snaps in team drills.

Smith, ostensibly the Trojans' weakside linebacker this season, talked Tuesday about the end-zone drills that concluded Tuesday's practice, dealing with the Twitter outcry, and the battle at middle linebacker: