Wednesday’s practices had a sideline visitor. In between travels for recruiting, Coach Pete Carroll made an appearance in Mobile Alabama to watch his Trojans work. In an interview with Lindsey Soto, he explained how the current competition against the nation’s best isn’t anything new to Trojan players, because they face fierce battles each day in practice. He took photos with the 5 USC players on the field, watched some drills, and was off to catch a plane to his next recruiting destination.
Patrick Turner has a lot to prove, if he’s going to shed the image of other big receivers from USC that couldn’t/haven’t adapted to the professional game. What scouts will be looking for most is his ability to separate from corners, something Mike Williams couldn’t accomplish, and Dwayne Jarrett is slowly achieving after two seasons in Carolina. Turner’s size allows him to standout on the field, with only Cal Poly’s 6’6 Ramses Barden being a larger receiver.
Clay Matthews continues to steal the spotlight. Working as a stand up 3-4 rusher, he beat Mississippi’s Michael Oher on consecutive plays, powering him back and into the QB on the first series, and then using a spin technique to get around the massive tackle to reach his target.
Rey Maualuga is generating more talk, and was interviewed by scouts representing several NFL franchises. Spectators are wowed by his sideline-to-sideline quickness, and there probably isn’t a harder hitter on the field.
There’s still a debate over who is the better linebacker, between Matthews and Brian Cushing. This is great for Clay Matthews, because Cushing’s stock isn’t falling. The debate alone signifies that Matthews has made a climb in draft status.
Fili Moala and Kyle Moore continue to display reasons for the Trojans possessing the nation’s No. 1 defense. From size to technique, they’ve shown everything a scout could ask for. There’s a sense of anticipation whenever USC defenders line up for drills, as they are clearly this year’s Senior Bowl celebrities.