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Practice Report: Lincoln Riley Evaluates USC Football's First Scrimmage of Fall Camp

Aug 16, 2022

USC's first scrimmage of its 2022 Fall Camp left head coach Lincoln Riley with mixed emotions.

"For me, it's always you're happy and mad; both at the same time," Riley said with a laugh. "That's how I should feel. I want to feel that internal pull where you feel that back and forth. Both sides are having success and both sides are being challenged. And I think that's what's happening right now."

Riley revealed that the Trojans' offense had "a little bit of the upper hand" during Sunday's (Aug. 14) scrimmage, but there were flashes of great plays from the team's defense. Sophomore inside linebacker Eric Gentry and redshirt freshman cornerback Prophet Brown were specifically highlighted for their "great interceptions" during live team periods. 

Gentry, a summer transfer from Arizona State, has a unique 6'6 frame for an inside linebacker. Riley noted Tuesday (Aug. 16) how the sophomore has made progress in his understanding of defensive coordinator Alex Grinch's scheme.

"It's rare to have a guy on your defense that has that type of length, and also that type of athleticism," Riley said of Gentry. "I love his instincts, and he's getting more comfortable within our system; making less mistakes each day. From an offensive perspective, guys like that are a pain. And he's done a really nice job."

Notes from USC's tenth practice of camp:

  • Running backs coach Kiel McDonald highlighted the progress he's seen from redshirt junior Darwin Barlow:

    • "Darwin had a really good scrimmage; made quite a few plays … But [in terms of] just getting acclimated to play calls and expectations, I think he's made a considerable jump from spring to now."

  • McDonald also noted how the carries among his position group have been almost exactly even throughout Fall Camp for an even playing field.

    • "Things [have been] clear from the beginning; the best players are going to play. So you've gotten your shot to show us what you can do. And we're going to make sure that we slot the guys who bring it."

  • Junior wide receiver Jordan Addison is now through ten practices as a Trojan. He described what he's learned now that he is able to experience Lincoln Riley's scheme on the field.

    • "You've got to have high energy. It's a fast paced offense, a lot tempo, and you've just got to stay locked in every play."

    • "I feel like I've picked it up pretty quickly, just coming in the offseason everyday with coach [Dennis] Simmons and just learning certain routes, but I still have a lot to learn."

  • Rush ends Korey Foreman and Solomon Tuliaupupu, tight end Josh Falo, wide receiver Kyle Ford, and cornerback Domani Jackson did not dress out for practice.

  • Tuesday's practice featured crowd noise during team periods to prepare the team for intense stadium environments that are quickly approaching on the calendar.


New numbers to know:

  • Defensive lineman Nick Figueroa, who previously wore No. 50, now dons 99. The redshirt senior wore that number during his stint in junior college.

  • Defensive back Bryson Shaw, who transferred from Ohio State as a redshirt junior this summer, wears 27.

  • True freshman running back Raleek Brown sports the number 14.

  • Wide receiver Michael Jackson III, who previously wore No. 13, now wears the number 9.

  • Wide receiver Jordan Addison wears the once-retired No. 3, after Trojan legend Carson Palmer gave his blessing.

  • Redshirt senior defensive lineman Solomon Byrd, who transferred from Wyoming this summer, dons No. 51.


Tuesday's media availability: