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2020 Fall Camp Report #2: Clay Helton Recaps First Few Practices

Oct 12, 2020

With two practices down, USC is getting into the groove of a late Fall Camp.

  • The Trojans spent the first two practices installing their base packages. The team wasn't allowed to don shoulder pads during the first few practices due to NCAA rules, but the acclimatization period is over, so the first fully-padded practice will take place on Wednesday.
  • "I thought the energy was great the first two days," said USC head coach Clay Helton. "You could tell the kids just being out there, being all together, and just playing for the love of the game was just awesome to see."
  • Helton acknowledged that COVID-19 presents some difficulties to practice, but said the team is just happy to be playing football again. "We're all just grateful to be out there," Helton said. "We have the privilege of being out there and doing what we love. So we're willing to do whatever sacrifices need to be done, whether it's getting up early and testing every morning or whether it's being on four different fields with men on four different fields at a time."
  • Running back Vavae Malepeai (hamstring) and Brandon Pili (stomach illness) have missed the first few practices, but should be back soon.
  • Each time the Trojans get to wear full pads, Helton said they'll go full speed with tackling. "As a head coach, you hold your breath," Helton explained. "You have to get your kids trained in that. Running backs and wideouts have to be hit for ball security purposes ... It is a fine line. Hopefully everybody stays healthy and you're allowed to continue it."
  • USC great Reggie Bush visited campus last week for the first time since USC's NCAA-mandated 10-year disassociation ended. "Reggie is a piece of not only USC football history, but college football history," Helton explained. "To have a living legend on campus as well as his beautiful family, with his three children and his wife, was a neat experience. To tour him around and have him see all the changes that have happened on campus ... and just to see his love for the university and how he wants to be able to help kids and help the next generation, it was great to have him."