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USC Football Spring Notebook - Practice 1

Scott Enyeart |
March 22, 2011 | 11:28 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

After a hamstring injury, could this be the last we see of Marc Tyler this spring? (Shotgun Spratling)
After a hamstring injury, could this be the last we see of Marc Tyler this spring? (Shotgun Spratling)
The USC Trojans football team held its first of 15 spring practices Tuesday morning at Cromwell Field. 

The team was forced to move practice from Howard Jones Field because of the recent rainfall. 

EARLY RISERS: Coach Lane Kiffin made the decision this winter to hold spring practices at 7:25 in the morning as opposed to the afternoon. That's just the time they hit the field, in actuality the players and coaches' morning starts even earlier. Meetings began around 6 a.m., with treatment and taping beginning as early as 5 a.m., according to some of the players.

It's a change Kiffin is considering for the fall as well.

"It's was actually something for the last couple years that I wanted to do," Kiffin said. "It's something I wanted to look at in the spring that could be a possible move in the fall."

FIGHTING FOR No. 2: In the battle to be Matt Barkley's backup, early enrollee Cody Kessler showed a strong arm but is definitely the most "raw" of the three guys competing for the No. 2 quarterback spot. He was picked off twice in his first practice as a Trojan.

INJURY UPDATE: Kiffin said 19 players were held out of today's practice due to injury or recovery from offseason surgeries. 

Running back Marc Tyler may have joined the list after he sustained a hamstring injury during the final period of team practice. The severity of the injury is not yet known. However, given the nature of hamstring injuries and the coaching staff being unlikely to rush back a starter and risk further injury, it is possible Tyler could miss a significant portion of spring ball.

TAKING ADVANTAGE: With Tyler out, redshirt junior Curtis McNeal and redshirt freshman D.J. Morgan took the chance to flash their stuff with a couple of extra reps. McNeal had the best day among the running backs; both he and Morgan displayed a burst after they got to the edge.

ARMSTEAD STILL RECOVERING: Defensive lineman Armond Armstead, who is out with an undisclosed medical condition, is still recovering.

"We're still getting stuff back in, some tests have not come back, we're holding him [out of practices] in the meantime," Kiffin said.

WHAT'S AHEAD: USC will hold its next practice Thursday. The Spring Game is scheduled for April 23 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and is open to the public.


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