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What we saw in Week 1 of spring ball

1. The beginning of the QB competition

It’s always a strange sight when you come to spring after a star player is gone, and it’s the first time you look on the practice field and he isn’t there. Such is the case this spring with no Sam Darnold, and instead we have Matt Fink and Jack Sears sharing the lead reps in their bid to take over as the starter. Day 1 clearly belonged to Fink, he was running the show well, hit a couple big passes, and generally looked the part. Day 2 on Thursday was more Jack Sears with deep throws to Josh Falo and Trevon Sidney, although there was a pick 6 for Marvell Tell on a ball that was tipped by Cameron Smith. On Day 3 it was all Fink, primarily because Sears wasn’t there, he was serving as a groomsman for roommate Andrew Vorhees wedding.

2. Falo opportunity

When Helton read the list of injured guys on day 1 of spring it included Daniel Imatorbhebhe. It was nothing new, just a continuation of the nagging injury that bothered Daniel all through the 2017 season and clearly hasn’t healed up by now. Helton said they want to give it as much of a chance to rehab as they can so that means no Daniel this spring, and a whole lot of opportunity for Josh Falo. If you ask around for the opinion from Trojan fans there are a lot of people who won’t mind seeing more from Josh after he flashed during his freshman season. He’s made a couple plays so far, and I’m sure we’ll see a lot more as spring goes along.

3. Telling signs

Another player who was mentioned on the opening day injury list was Marvell Tell with a groin issue, but on day 2 Marvell was out there making his presence felt immediately with the pick six that was referenced above. What was also noticeable was how it looked as if Marvell was playing at a different level than a lot of the other players on the field. He looks every bit the senior, a guy in control out there and ready to step his game up as the next big-time USC safety.

4. Helton talk of hard camp

There might not be a bigger issue for USC fans than to hear the words from Helton when he talked about wanting to have a hard camp. The issue came up after day 1 when it was noted that the team no longer took a water break 2/3’rds of the way through a practice. There were also gassers done at the end of the day, something that hasn’t been seen around USC for a long time. Now, a few wind sprints and no water doesn’t necessarily mean the Trojans are back to playing the kind of physical football fans want to see, but Helton was quick to say one of the reasons for doing it is that the Trojans finally have a full roster again. Stay tuned on this one.

Garry Paskwietz

A 1988 graduate of USC with a degree in Sports Information. Worked in sports marketing for LA Lakers and Miller Brewing Company. Began covering the Trojans in 1996 with the Trojan Football Fax. Founded WeAreSC in November 1998 with stints at Scout and ESPN. Emmy-winner while covering high school football at Fox Sports West.

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