The Trojans were back on Brian Kennedy-Howard Jones Field Wednesday for another PRP and the one of the first things we noticed was Daniel Imatorbhebhe taking part in warm-ups. He didn’t do anything else, as soon as the warm-ups were done he was off to the side or behind the action talking with other players and helping to get guys lined up right, but it was an encouraging sign simply to have him out there doing something after a prolonged absence.
There was no Jack Sears so today was Matt Fink and JT Daniels splitting the reps at QB.
It was the first appearance for Isaac Taylor-Stuart. Dominic Davis was back with the corners after spending spring at running back. Speaking of DB’s, Jamel Cook was spotted on the field beforehand talking to several players.
Jordan Austin showed up a few minutes late looking sharp in a suit, but then quickly changed and took his spot with the offensive line drills. It was our first look at Liam Douglass, who lined up as a reserve at RT.
When the 11-on-11 drills started, it was Cameron Smith with a pass break-up on the first play on a Fink pass attempt to a tight end over the middle. Greg Johnson had a PBU as well and he looks really bulked up. I also liked what we saw from Markese Stepp, who split the majority of reps with Vavae Malepeai. Markese definitely fits the “big back” mold but he has a smooth running style and some soft hands today, except for one play along the sideline where he juggled the ball a few times trying to bring it in before Ajene Harris knocked it away.
We saw Palaie Gaoteote in action for the first time, he was at WLB next to Cam Smith, he didn’t do much except run around for a few plays but it was good to see.
As for JT, he kept things short early on and missed his first couple deeper throws to Michael Pittman and Amon-Ra, but then he settled things down on back-to-back plays with completions of 20-25 yards to Devon Williams and Amon-Ra. Fink hit Velus Jones on a swing pass and he turned the corner with an impressive burst. There was also a swing pass to Amon-Ra who made the catch but if it was live contact he would have been lit up by Bubba Bolden. After that we saw JT hit Josh Imatorbhebhe with a 30 yard completion, and then his best throw of the day came when he rolled left and calmly flipped another deep completion to Tyler Vaughns. I would definitely say the second half of the day was the best we’ve seen from JT so far.
The team is scheduled for the next PRP on Friday.