Thursday practice report

Notes, quotes and video from the second of USC's 24 practices scheduled for fall camp, which was just as long as Wednesday's:

  • The big story coming from practice was the cheekbone injury suffered by cornerback T.J. Bryant in an altercation with fullback Stanley Havili that apparently occurred Friday night. Kiffin said Bryant is expected to be out for 3-4 weeks after undergoing surgery earlier Thursday. Havili apologized for the incident in a brief meeting with reporters and took full responsibility for his actions. "We're here to support him and to make sure that it doesn't happen again," new offensive coordinator and running backs coach Kennedy Pola said of the incident. "Because it can happen in a game and anything like that, but he's a good young man. We're gonna do what Coach Kiffin follows through with and see what happens from there."

  • Injury updates: Offensive lineman Matt Kalil, the projected starter at left tackle, was again relegated to sideline duty because of a hamstring injury suffered last week. His injury is not considered serious but it is not known when he will return. Defensive end Armond Armstead sat out for the second consecutive day, this time with a stomach ailment. He came off the field early Wednesday because of dehydration. Receiver De'Von Flournoy was helped off the field midway through practice and was looked at by the Trojans' training staff; Brandon Carswell and Kyle Prater were also unable to finish practice, as was Havili -- with a minor hamstring injury unrelated to the altercation.

  • On position battles, Chris Galippo and Devon Kennard will continue to rotate between first-team snaps at middle linebacker on a daily basis, just as they did during the spring. Assistant head coach Monte Kiffin said any decision on the eventual starter at the middle linebacker position is nowhere near made. At safety, Jawanza Starling and T.J. McDonald have become fairly established as the first-teamers, but junior Drew McAllister is also an option as a potential starter or nickel package defensive back. McAllister missed all of spring practice because of a lingering hip injury and is still not 100%, but he practiced Wednesday and Thursday. He said he felt like he had fallen behind with the new coaching staff simply because he was unable to get on the field in the spring. "Yeah, that part was kinda tough," McAllister said after Thursday's practice. "Those guys are my friends too," he said. "We've always been fighting for spots, so with the new coaches we're just going to have to keep fighting for the spots along the way."

  • Junior Rhett Ellison, who began practicing at fullback Wednesday because of a shortage of depth at the position after D.J. Shoemate's transfer, did drills with the tight ends and fullbacks Thursday. He said after practice he felt he would be ready to step in immediately if Havili was suspended. Sticking with the tight ends, none of the three freshmen stood out like Christian Thomas did Wednesday, but senior Jordan Cameron did.

  • Quarterback Matt Barkley again did not throw an interception, and he continued to praise the trio of freshmen receivers he will throw to in the fall. On the receivers, Markeith Ambles and Robert Woods -- especially Woods -- showed immediate improvement from Wednesday, and both demonstrated superb athletic ability in early-practice drills among the other skill position players.

  • A few final notes: running back D.J. Morgan did not practice and has not been cleared by USC's medical staff. It looks like he will redshirt this fall as he recovers from a knee injury suffered last fall...After most estimates put the practice attendance at between 50-60 Wednesday, it was more than cut in half Thursday. It appeared there were between 20-30 people on the sidelines for the fall's second practice -- media members almost all of them...A list of preferred walk-ons is provided in a below post and linked here. Highlights include former University of San Diego punter Kyle Negrete and former Georgetown signee Conrad Tavarez.


Kiffin was visibly happier with his team's on-field performance but obviously unhappy about the Havili-Bryant situation. Hear all of his comments on the situation after Thursday's practice:


Pola's hiring at USC garnered plenty of fan and media attention from across the college and professional football world, but Pola actually stayed largely out of the spotlight through most of it. Thursday, he addressed how he feels returning to USC and also talked about handling the situation with Havili: