Roundtable: fall camp observations 

August, 7, 2014
The WeAreSC staffers discuss three things that have jumped out so far from the opening days of fall camp.

Garry Paskwietz

1. Lots of bodies. For a team with limited roster numbers due to scholarship restrictions, the Trojans sure have a lot of available bodies to start camp -- enough that Steve Sarkisian has been able to utilize three full units during practice time. That has meant a lot of development time for the entire squad and some long three-hour practices to get the camp sessions started. Kenny Bigelow is the only player ruled out for the season, and there have been a few players sitting out that should come back soon. Otherwise the full squad is on the field and getting work.

[+] EnlargeLeonard Williams
Ric Tapia/Icon SMIAll-American Leonard Williams has picked up where he left off and been impressive in camp.
2. There has been a lot of attention paid to the up-tempo offense but it’s important to note that this defense has a chance to be pretty good. The unit is led by a strong front seven with veterans such as Hayes Pullard and Leonard Williams but it’s been the secondary that has shown well early on. It helps to have Josh Shaw back at corner and Chris Hawkins has filled in well at the other spot with Kevon Seymour out due to stomach flu. And Adoree' Jackson and Lamont Simmons have made strong impressions as true freshmen. Su'a Cravens is up to 225 pounds at the safety position.

3. The snapping issues between the quarterback and center in the shotgun have been there through the start of camp. At some point you want to see them go away but it hasn’t happened yet. There have been stretches where things are fine but it simply needs to be more consistent than it is right now before the regular season starts. The good news is that this is what fall camp is for with players who are new to the center spot.

Johnny Curren

1. The improved depth of the team. This is the healthiest and deepest that the Trojans have been in what seems like forever, and it’s resulted in more competitive practice sessions marked by an improved overall level of play. Even with what is still a limited roster, Sarkisian and his staff have what appears to be talent on top of talent at virtually every position, even at the cornerback and wide receiver spots that were noticeably thin a year ago. The ability of the team to stay healthy will obviously be a key factor to watch as fall camp progresses.