It was a different sight on Tuesday at the end of the first day of USC spring ball practices. The Trojans lined up across the goal line in three rows, with Clay Helton standing at the 10-yard line with a whistle to begin the final drill of the day. As he blew the whistle, the first line of players did an up-down and then sprinted 10 yards past Helton, and it repeated for the next two lines, and for four reps apiece for each group.
Of course, doing sprints or running drills at the end of a practice is nothing new to the sport of football but it’s not something we’ve seen on the USC practice field in recent years.
And one thing we didn’t see at practice was the water break that the team has traditionally taken at the 2/3’rds mark of practice, a break that started two years ago after the Utah game.
Are these two things signs of a different kind of practice under Clay Helton?
We’ll see, but the Trojans coach did acknowledge that “we have full numbers and we want to make it a hard camp” in reference to a roster that is now pushing a full 85 bodies, as opposed to recent years when sanctions-impacted rosters led to changes in practice formats to help reduce injuries and wear-and-tear.