USC Trojans: USC spring practice

Recruits take in USC spring game 

April, 15, 2013
ESPN Watch List offensive tackle Jordan Poland (La Jolla, Calif./Country Day School) committed to USC last June, long before the Trojans stumbled through a disappointing season and replaced his future position coach, James Cregg, with Mike Summers.

Several big-name schools have maintained their recruitment of the massive 6-foot-7, 330-pound prospect, but the Poland has not backed off his pledge. He attended USC’s spring game Saturday at the Memorial Coliseum and came away impressed with the line.

“Coach Summers has definitely impacted the linemen, but in a good way,” Poland said. “Their technique looks more sound than it did before. He’s been implementing a lot more drills they weren’t accustomed to, so he’s definitely making them look good.”

Though he’s still hearing from various schools and plans to take a few trips this summer, the initial returns this spring have solidified Poland’s commitment.

“When it comes down to committing, you want to be loyal to the school,” Poland said. “I’m happy with the school I’m committed to right now. Yes, a lot of schools are after me and I’m keeping my options open, but I’m happy to be a Trojan.”

Alabama, Michigan and Oregon are the three schools in heavy pursuit, Poland said. He intends to visit those schools sometime this summer.

“If I had to choose any other schools,” he said, “those would definitely be the ones I’d pick.”

Country Day School is an academically rigorous institution, so Poland hasn’t had much free time since the football season ended. He has used up all of his high school eligibility after transferring from Arizona, but is heading into his senior year academically.

“I’m looking to maybe play in a travel basketball team, but I’m not sure,” Poland said. “I might just stick to my football training. Everything is still in order for me to enroll early if things keep going well the way they have been.”

Poland became the first member of the 2014 recruiting class when he committed to USC on June 9. Back then, the Trojans were ranked No. 1 in the preseason polls, and limited scholarships were up for grabs.

“You’d expect more from one of the powerhouse football schools but, at the same time, I still like what the school can do when you step off the field,” Poland said. “It doesn’t affect my decision of going there at all, really. I know what the coaches can teach me ... Coach Cregg is a good dude and a good coach. He’s definitely a good piece of the team and he helps in a lot of positive ways. I keep in contact with him the most.”.”

Lane Kiffin during his USC Trojans' loss to the Notre Dame Fighting IrishHarry How/Getty ImagesLane Kiffin is liking what he is seeing from his early enrollees in spring practice.

It’s easy to notice the upbeat style of play through the first two days of USC spring ball, and it was evident on Thursday with a team drill that featured some explosive plays from the offense.

The team drill started off strong for the defense, as the offense was backed up near its own goal line on the south end of Brian Kennedy-Howard Jones Field, and the defense had some stops, led by the interior front with Antwaun Woods, George Uko and Leonard Williams.

After the offense switched to the north end of the field, however, things began to change. Max Wittek hit Nelson Agholor for a short gain, and Agholor showed his burst of speed to outrun the secondary and make it a long gain. With the ball placed again deep in the offense's end, Silas Redd took a handoff and went 85 yards down the left sideline before being driven out at the 10-yard line by Kevon Seymour.

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USC spring schedule released

February, 27, 2013
The spring practice schedule has been released for USC, and it includes eight sessions that will be open to the public.

The dates for practice are:
March 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 26, 28, 30
April 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13

The start times each Tuesday and Thursday are 4 p.m. on campus, Saturdays at the Coliseum (3/9 at 2 p.m., 3/16 at 9 a.m., 3/30 and 4/6 at 11 a.m. in Coliseum). These are subject to change.

USC practices in recent years have been closed due to NCAA-sanction-related issues, but the Trojans will open up eight practices this spring with a viewing area designated in the Dedeaux Field plaza area for 200 fans per day. Practices on March 5, 7, 9, 14, 26, 28 and April 4, 9 and 11 will be open to the public.

The USC spring game will be held on Saturday, April 13 at 1 p.m. in the Coliseum.

USC’s annual pro day workout for NFL scouts is March 27.