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2021 USC Football Fall Camp Report #9: Chemistry Session

Aug 17, 2021

The Trojans were once again in full pads as camp grinds on:

  • Junior WR Drake London is a preseason All-American and the most dependable target for QB Kedon Slovis, but some other pass catchers are starting to emerge from a talented, young group. "It seems like every day a different guy has a great day," OC Graham Harrell said.
  • Today, freshman TE Michael Trigg was the standout performer. "He's a freak," Slovis said about Trigg. "Great kid, great athlete."
  • Like London, Trigg comes to USC as a two-sport athlete, and he has designs of playing for Andy Enfield's basketball team as well. "I always feel like basketball keeps you well rounded for football, definitely at my position since I'm a bigger tight end," Trigg said. "Playing basketball makes you more versatile and keeps you more athletic."
  • Trigg has a similar physique to London and played outside receiver in high school, but while he admires London's game, "I've got some work to do" to play like him, he said.
  • Along with Trigg, Joseph Manjack IV, an under-the-radar prospect from Tomball, Texas, has opened the coaches' eyes. He is getting reps with the first team. "We've asked him to do a lot," Slovis said about Manjack. "He started outside, now he's moving inside a little bit more. He's great physically, a great athlete, and he's not wearing gloves so he's got great hands too."
  • London did not play in Saturday's scrimmage, so Slovis got some extra time to work with his new targets in a live setting. "It's good to experience those younger guys, newer guys really," Slovis said. "We have a lot of talent, but there's so much nuance within this offense."
  • Slovis has spent a lot of time throwing to his receivers and tight ends in the summer and during camp to build up chemistry. He explained that he benefits the most from one-on-one conversations with pass catchers after a play to understand what they like and keep communication lines open.
  • While chemistry is nice, Harrell is more focused on the precision timing of the offense no matter who is the quarterback or the receiver. "Pushing it down the field, you do have to know who it is and each guy is a little bit different," said Harrell about the deep ball. "From that standpoint, I do think there's some chemistry involved in it. On most of the other routes, we're trying to get everyone in the same spots at the same time to eliminate any of that."
  • With a lesser known receiving corps than previous years and a mostly overhauled running backs room, this is really Kedon Slovis's offense as he enters his junior season. "As an older guy, there's more expected of you," Slovis said about his conversations with Harrell. "That comes with any coach in any system in any sport really."