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2021 USC Football Fall Camp Report #1: Newcomers Stand Out In First Practice

Aug 6, 2021

USC football kicked off 2021 Fall Camp with an energetic practice on a hot day in LA.

  • Clay Helton said he likes the attitude this team is bringing into Fall Camp. "I thought last year really helped us. The adversity that we faced as a team, some of the issues that were going on all around us, and how they bonded together and found a way to win each and every regular season game and get to a championship game, that was a major step for them," he said. "It really created a hunger and a chip on their shoulder to take that next step and win the Pac-12 and put yourself where we want to be, which is in the Playoff."
  • Defensive back Isaac Taylor-Stuart missed practice due to the birth of his first child, a daughter named Emery. Defensive lineman Drake Jackson missed practice due to health and safety protocols. Wide receiver Jake Smith, who recently transferred from Texas, has a foot injury that requires further evaluation. Defensive lineman Ishmael Sopsher, who transferred from Alabama, is still progressing from an offseason surgery, but was able to get some individual work in.
  • Helton noted that the defensive line unit is talented, but a bit thin. "We're going to need to stay healthy there, but I think a lot of guys would love to have Nick [Figueroa] and Korey [Foreman] and Drake [Jackson] and Hunter [Echols] and Tuli [Tuipulotu]," he said. "There's bodies there, but there's not a true three-deep ... it's gonna be about two-and-a-half-deep right now."
  • Top recruit Korey Foreman brings some star power to the defensive line. "He has God-given talent. His first step is unique. He gets on top of the tackle extremely quickly," Helton said of the freshman. "The faster that we bring him along, the better team we're going to be."
  • Like Foreman, freshman linebacker Raesjon Davis has a lot of eyes on him. "You see the football instincts, you really see how quick his first step is and how he runs," Helton said. "I love what he did today, I thought he brought a pro mindset in, from how he was in meetings, how he was in walkthroughs, how he was coachable today."
  • Helton also praised transfer wideout Tahj Washington, comparing his transitional skills to USC great Marqise Lee. "The thing that I think he's going to bring to the table: he has true top end speed, I mean he can take the top off a defense in a hurry, so we're really excited to have him," Helton said.
  • Wide receiver Kyle Ford, who's coming off his second ACL tear, impressed Helton today. "I'm so happy to see him out here and see him gain confidence with every play," he said. "To be out here competing, credit to him. What a tough-minded kid. How hard he's worked. You can just see how much fun he was having today."