LOS ANGELES — Here are some notes and observations as USC prepares to start practicing in full pads Friday.
A rule of college football is that wide receiver is the position where it’s easiest for young players to make an immediate impact. Mike Williams, Robert Woods, Marqise Lee and JuJu Smith-Schuster all turned heads during training camp of their freshman seasons.
With USC’s current first week of training camp, though, it’s still hard to identify a No. 2 wide receiver Deontay Burnett. Even quarterback Sam Darnold acknowledged Thursday he doesn’t really have a receiver other than Burnett when he is under pressure.
Asked who else he looks to throw to, Darnold said, “no one in particular. Deontay and I have been together for three years.”
At some point, this needs to change. USC cannot go into the season without other receivers emerging or teams will just double-team Burnett the entire game. The fact eight other receivers in their first or second seasons are still transitioning is hardly ideal.
>> When USC played Notre Dame, Irish defensive tackle Jerry Tillery was shown kicking tailback Aca’Cedric Ware in the head as Ware lay unconscious with a concussion. Tillery also stepped on the foot of offensive tackle Zach Banner after Banner was knocked to the ground.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said Tillery underwent counseling and performed community service but will be available for the Irish’s season opener against Temple on Sept. 2.
“Some people get smacked in games, I got smacked,” Ware said Thursday. “It happens. I’m not mad about it. When I saw (the replay), I thought, `That was me?’ I feel like in the end, it got overblown.”
>> Tight end Tyler Petite, who weighed 230 pounds when he arrived at USC, showed up at training camp weighing 260. Petite said one reason for the weight gain is doctors discovered he had sleep apnea, which caused him to constantly wake up during the night.
“I was sick my whole freshman year,” Petite said. “I always wanted to be a true tight end. Now I finally am with my size.”
>> Defensive end Porter Gustin, an All-American candidate, developed his own method of eating. He blends food and drinks it. Gustin takes any food (chicken, vegetables, potatoes) and tosses them in a blender with cold water and consumes the end product.
“It was tough for awhile,” Gustin said. “It took months to get used to. Sometimes I still gag.”
So why does he do it? “I always wanted to put on more weight….