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USC Football

Tuesday's PRP Notes & Observations (7/20) & Courtland Ford Interview

July 20, 2021
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Today was the 2nd summer PRP session that the media was able to attend, and next week the day after PAC-12 Media Day, we USC Scoop will attend the team's last session before fall camp opens a week later. As you know, we're not allowed to watch the actual practices, but we do get to talk to a few of the guys afterward; Today, we caught up with Courtland Ford for a couple of minutes.

** I asked for Mo Hasan too but for some reason they would prefer we not speak with players who are injured. I just wanted to ask Mo about his new role this year since he won't be able to play; I wanted his view of the freshmen QB's from a player/coach perspective. I also wanted to ask him about his podcast show and see if we could arrange a crosstalk segment. Mo, you've been invited to join us on SCoopTV. :)

Here are a few notes and observations from today's festivities.

**Today was warm, well over 80 degrees.--Not Arizona or Texas hot, but the sky was a high bright blue and no clouds, and I was a little sweaty.

**Some of the team must have missed the memo because practice started at 4:00 and not 4:15. With only a couple of minutes till 4:00, some of the players were still scuttling down the tunnel to get changed in time and not be late. The ones dressed on time, half of them weren't sure which field to start practice on; Loker or Brian Kennedy. Eventually, they all got on the same page.--By the way, they were supposed to be on Brian Kennedy first.

**Parker Lewis is bigger than former Trojan's kicker David Buehler. For those of you old enough to remember, Buehler looked like a strong safety playing the role of a kicker. Lewis looks like a middle LB. 

**Malcolm Epps is one large WR. Emphasis on large and he looks like he's 30-years old.

**I made my presence known to head coach Clay Helton today when he came by to say hello to all 6 of us in the media that were in attendance. For context, 4 of the six were from one site. Clay said, "glad to see all of you out here, and you' re really going to like what you see when these guys practicing in person." The only thing I could think of at the moment as he was walking back down the tunnel into McKay was to yell out, "when?!!?" He said, "soon, very soon." More on my Helton interaction in a moment.

**Perhaps it was planned or maybe just coincidence; however, AD's Mike Bohn and Brandon Sosna also came over to say hello and offer their appreciation to those of us who came to support the team's workouts. At first, it felt a little awkward because we weren't sure if this was just a bull session or if we could interview them with questions. Mike encouraged us by reminding us that the team is working hard and that everyone will like what they see. (sound familiar). I said with a sarcastic smile, "I'll take your word for it since we can't watch." Brandon chuckled.--Not sure if Mike caught my sarcasm or not, though. LOL

**Mike also told the story of the visitor's locker room at the Coliseum after seeing it for the first time. He recently stuck his head in there. Anyway, long story short, Al Davis of the Raiders designed the visitor's locker room to be like a maze, so the entire team is never together at one time. He did ask if they should paint it a different color like Iowa does, painting it pink.

**Mike and Brandon are looking forward to next week's Media day, as am I. 

**I did ask the two of them about the game-day experience this season, and they both said everything is going to be expected. All concession stands will be open, and no prepackaged meals.

**Two Trojans will be representing the team next week, Kedon Slovis and Drake London. Mildly interesting that USC is bringing two offensive guys instead of one from the defense. I would think a team captain like Isaiah Pola-Mao or a Drake Jackson would be asked. No offense meant to London whatsoever.

**As the team plays musical chair sessions between Loker and Kennedy fields, I can only notice the difference between the players who came to USC from other programs and some of the other guys. Take that, FWIW, but Darwin Barlow just looks different. 

**Before the practice was over, the session went till 5:00 when the three horns blasted; I had an exclusive 3-5 minutes by myself with Clay Helton. As mentioned, before practice ended, Clay had come back up the tunnel, but he had changed his clothes and went to talk with the team one more time before going to wherever he was heading. However, as he started walking down the tunnel, and said, "Marc, come I want to talk to you."

As I put my bag down and approached Coach, I asked with a smile, "Did I get you in trouble?--He smiled and said no. I quickly responded, am I in trouble?" Neither was the case. I would find out the reason why Coach Helton singled out myself and USC Scoop. Coach just wanted to take a moment to let us know that he appreciates everything we do and that when practices do start, we'll be excited to see what we're going to see. 

I wanted him to understand something, and I actually said, "Clay, no matter what we write, we will always be fair to you and the team. When I write an OpEd, it will present both sides of an opinion and it's never meant to be in mean spirit." He said, "I know, and that's why I invited you over here, and that's why I am giving you the inside scoop on practices." **3 Horns go off at 5:15 ending practice.

**Another cool observation was watching Isaiah Pola-Mao offer some advice to Courtland before his interview. watch with the sound up for the message from IPM. 

Discussion from...

Tuesday's PRP Notes & Observations (7/20) & Courtland Ford Interview

992 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 1 day ago by sailorgabe
Valley_Trojan13
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Marc;

Class move on Both your parts! I've never hidden my displeasure with Helton as the HC. But I've not come across any remarks by anyone against the "Man". I Want the program back on top! I freely admitt that HC Pete Carroll set such a mark as too possibly be unattainable by any who follow. Doesn't mean they can't try. Also doesn't mean I need to keep livin in the past. (Sorry OU but Yes, yes I do!! 55-19!)

With the staff assembled and the massive improvement in recruiting the wins are surely bound to start pouring in. IF SC wins the Pac and makes the CFP I will understand if AD Bohn keeps Helton on. Won't be thrilled but will understand.

Can't wait for the season to kick! Fight On!!
sailorgabe
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**Some of the team must have missed the memo because practice started at 4:00 and not 4:15. With only a couple of minutes till 4:00, some of the players were still scuttling down the tunnel to get changed in time and not be late. The ones dressed on time, half of them weren't sure which field to start practice on; Loker or Brian Kennedy. Eventually, they all got on the same page.--By the way, they were supposed to be on Brian Kennedy first.

This is a highly disturbing portion. One thing I have picked up in all my years in the military is basic formation and punctuality of units is a direct reflection of the unit. If kids don't know where to go or when to be there, that's a problem. Big red flags for me.
Where did Coach Helton first become a Head Coach?
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