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All eyes on McKnight as Trojans open practice

Discussion in 'All Other Sports' started by BoltsFanUK, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. BoltsFanUK

    BoltsFanUK Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2006
    LOS ANGELES -- The yelling began at five minutes before 5 p.m. Monday. The No. 1 ranked USC Trojans weren't scheduled to start their first fall practice until 5:30, but that didn't seem to be the case judging by the reaction of linebackers coach Ken Norton as watched from the far end of the field.

    USC fans have waited since early February to see Joe McKnight take the field for the Trojans.

    "Hit the field running!" his voice boomed from inside the walls of the practice field as two-by-two players made their way through the gate. "Nobody walks. Let's go! C'mon, somebody has to show somebody how to work."

    Head coach Pete Carroll still hadn't made an appearance yet, but Norton was there to make sure the tone was set early as he watched his prized linebacker recruit Chris Galippo hustle out to join the rest of the position group assembled on the far side of the field. "We get here early," Norton hollered again. "We don't show up 'on time.' C'mon 54!"

    Some of the faces have changed. Gone are star receivers Dwayne Jarrett and Steve Smith as well as All-America center Ryan Kalil, but the message was clear -- that it was back to business.

    "It's wonderful to get back out there," said Carroll after wrapping up a nearly three-hour practice. "It's real exciting for us to be here and it's such a wonderful feeling having your depth chart filled out."

    Actually, the Trojans depth chart is more than filled out. It's overloaded. Carroll has more linebackers, safeties and tailbacks than he knows what to do with, but it all figures to fit nicely into the USC system.

    Ever since Carroll came to Los Angeles, there have been two dominant themes at USC practices: a high-energy tempo and competition at every turn. Both were on display in abundance Monday as the Trojans, a so far consensus preseason No. 1 pick, kicked off fall camp before about 200 spectators made up of friends and family of the program and media members getting their first glimpse at the team.


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