Football players begin to settle into starting roles

first_imgThe Trojans began practice Tuesday at Howard Jones Field with their roles clearly established now that head coach Clay Helton released the depth chart for the start of the season. The next two weeks will be focused on the opener against Alabama.The depth chart is highlighted by the announcement of Max Browne being named the starting quarterback. Browne was expected to win the job, but redshirt freshman Sam Darnold gave the coaches a reason to extend the competition into fall camp.At the HelmThough the nod to become the next starter was admittedly relieving, Browne’s role has shifted as well with the stress placed upon him.“It’s just a different type of stress,” Browne said. “You’re able to relax and really hone in on something you need to work on during practice, but it’s different. Now we are preparing for week one which is exciting. It’s awesome. I wouldn’t say it’s relaxed.”Browne also described how he is fit for leading the Trojans, regardless of what the season has in store.“I’ve had my fair share of falling up short and battling back, which I think is a great life lesson that will serve us well this season,” Browne said. “It’s not going to go perfect, and the ability to respond and lead these guys is huge. I’ve been here almost four years now, I have a good relationship with all the guys on the team, which I think is crucial as far as leading these guys and getting them ready for week one.”Carrying the Trojans to VictoryAnother key position for the Trojan offense was crowned with a new starter. Senior tailback Justin Davis was named the starter over sophomore Ronald Jones II.Many have praised Davis for his talent and potential, including former safety Su’a Cravens, who tweeted “Justin Davis is the most talented RB on the USC Roster. Don’t sleep on him.”Davis beamed with joy when reflecting on Helton’s decision.“It feels good. I have the backs behind me who keep pushing me,” Davis said. “That’s why I came to ’SC, because I know that we are going to have top-of-the-line running backs, and we are all going to be competing.”Davis also praised the coaching staff for preparing the athletes to be the best they can be.“I’m miles ahead of where I was in the spring because our coach Tommie Robinson preaches that we have to know the whole scheme. Any player on the field that affects your play, you have to learn it. Whether it’s the O-line blocking, the wide receivers, rotations of the safety — the little things that you wouldn’t think that a running back should pay attention to.”Davis looks back on his tenure in a positive light, but is quick to understand his role in continuing the leadership of starting running backs.“It really lets you know how fast time goes by,” Davis said. “The dudes in front of me, Silas Red, ‘Buck’ Allen, they showed me the way. Now I have to return the favor to these freshmen because they showed me how to work and get to the top. It’s a rite of passage, and I’m taking the role.”The Trojans continue practice this week in preparation focused on Alabama, with a mock game on Saturday to end the week.last_img

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