USC football: Coaches evaluate roster ahead of opener as players rest

USC football players have day off practice, but coaches work at looking at roster ahead of Aug. 30 opener

USC players, fresh from a day off, return to practice Sunday with a more focused eye on their Aug. 30 opener against Fresno State.

Trojans coaches were scheduled to spend part of Saturday huddled in the McKay Center to assess the roster after a week of practice and information-gathering.

Coach Steve Sarkisian said Friday the staff would "really do some hard evaluations on the personnel but also on our schemes to make sure what we're doing is fitting our personnel."

The position fate of several freshmen was possibly decided.

Before training camp, Sarkisian said Adoree' Jackson, JuJu Smith and Rahshead Johnson would probably get opportunities on both offense and defense.

Jackson has worked mainly at cornerback, taken extensive reps at receiver and also has taken handoffs and returned kicks.

Smith played receiver and safety at Long Beach Poly High, but he worked only at receiver during the first week of training camp. Johnson, a receiver and defensive back at Long Beach Cabrillo, also has practiced only at receiver.

Coaches introduced the new no-huddle offense during spring practice. Returning players and newcomers such as Jackson, Smith and Johnson appeared to execute much of it smoothly during the first five practices.

"The guys know it perfect," quarterback Cody Kessler said.

Quick hits

USC is scheduled to practice twice Sunday, the first of six double-days that will be conducted in the next two weeks. Sunday's morning practice is open to the public, but fans are restricted to viewing from the observation decks at Dedeaux Field. That will be the policy for the remainder of practices at Brian Kennedy-Howard Jones Field that are designated open to the public…. The Trojans' next scheduled off day is Thursday.

Follow Gary Klein on Twitter @latimesklein

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