USC coach Lane Kiffin didn't call the offensive plays for the Trojans in Saturday's scrimmage, a significant departure from the norm he has established in his two-plus years at USC.
But he had a good excuse: He was busy entertaining some special visitors. Two of the top national recruits in the Class of 2013, Skyline (Wa.) quarterback Max Browne and Vista Murrieta (Ca.) linebacker/safety Su'a Cravens, were in attendance at the Coliseum, and Kiffin made a point of spending time with both during the scrimmage.
Browne, in particular, stood directly behind the quarterbacks for a good portion of the day and chatted with Kiffin. It was his second straight practice as the 6-foot-5 slinger came to Thursday's session as well.
Kiffin made reference to the recruits in his post-practice meeting with the media, saying that was one of the reasons why he didn't call any of the plays. He also joked he didn't want to put a scrimmage like Saturday's on his resume because so many of the Trojans' key skill-position players were injured and unable to participate.
Also in attendance were 2012 signees Gerald Bowman and Darreus Rogers, local kids who both stayed around afterward to chat with the Trojans' coaches on the Coliseum field. A number of other 2013 recruits with scholarship offers from USC were there, including Rancho Cucamonga (Ca.) defensive backs Chris Hawkins and Tahaan Goodman.
And former Trojans Mark Sanchez, Patrick Turner and Damian Williams also watched practice from the sideline.