Woods to miss all of spring practice
At the football teamâs first practice since returning from spring break, USC junior receiver Robert Woods announced that he will miss the remainder of spring practice.
â[The ankleâs] not completely healed, but itâs almost there,â Woods said.
Though he was a first-team All-American wideout and the presumptive No. 1 receiver, Woodsâ ankle plagued him all of last season.
âAfter continuing evaluations on Robert, we thought he would almost be full strength by now,â USC coach Lane Kiffin said. âHeâs had a setback â [the ankleâs] not healing fast, so our doctors recommend that we sit him to be sure to make sure it heals.â
Kiffin preferred that Woods be on the field as soon as possible, but he knew that Woods had to sit some time out to fully heal the ankle.
âWatching him, heâs still limping around, and the whole thing was that we [had surgery] in the offseason to have this thing fixed,â Kiffin said. âWe have to get [his ankle] right no matter what, no matter how much time that is, to make sure we donât have to go through that again.â
Kiffin called redshirt sophomore linebacker Hayes Pullard one of the standout players in camp so far.
âHe ended up with the tie for lead in tackles on the team last year. He understands the system more now,â Kiffin said. âHeâs a leader and heâs very aggressive in his style of play.â
Pullard was a very good all-around player last season, but he has plenty to improve on â and he knows it.
â[Linebacker coach Scottie Hazelton] and [former linebacker coach Joe Barry] just told me to be a peak performer at everything,â Pullard said. âI want to be better all around so I can be the best linebacker there is.â
Pullard stated that having the older linebackers on the roster to teach them helped him and his fellow linebackers.
âIt was a real benefit having seniors in Shane Horton and Chris Galippo â even though they were behind us and in front of us sometimes â teaching us young guys. They didnât care about nothing else,â Pullard said. âIt was a brotherhood and a big team effort to teach one another.â
Kiffin experimented on Tuesday by having sophomore linebacker Tre Madden line up at running back as a result of some creative thinking over spring break.
âThis is the time to try [experimenting with players at new positions]. It may not work at all, but as you go back and look at our testing â height, weight and speed â he would be one of the best guys on our whole team,â Kiffin said.
He said that Madden was excited to try out tailback. Kiffin plans to run Madden as running back throughout this week and evaluate after Saturdayâs practice.
âIf it works out, then weâve got something we donât have right now,â Kiffin said. âIf it doesnât, weâll go back.â
Notable players that did not participate in Tuesdayâs practice were redshirt sophomore linebacker Dion Bailey, senior center Khaled Holmes, redshirt sophomore quarterback Jesse Scroggins, sophomore wideout George Farmer, redshirt sophomore tight end Xavier Grimble, senior safety Drew McAllister, redshirt junior linebacker Marquise Simmons and redshirt freshman tight end Junior Pomee.