Incoming freshman John David Booty will compete for the starting quarterback job when USC opens training camp next week, Coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday.
Carroll said redshirt sophomore Matt Leinart would begin workouts as the starter and receive plenty of repetitions, “but the competition goes on and it’s wide open. Matt has to hold the spot.”
Leinart edged redshirt junior Matt Cassel, junior transfer Brandon Hance and redshirt sophomore Billy Hart for the position during spring practice.
Booty skipped his senior year at Evangel Christian High in Louisiana to enroll at USC.
“He’s going to get thrown in there and he’s going to be throwing balls to [starting receivers] Keary Colbert and Mike Williams and we’re going to see what he looks like,” Carroll said. “And the other guys are going to have to understand that philosophy. I can’t help our football team if I don’t do that. I’ve got to give our guys a chance to show what they can do.”
Tight end Alex Holmes is still recovering from a back injury suffered in the Orange Bowl. “It’s a question mark [about] what’s going to happen at that spot,” Carroll said. Junior Gregg Guenther shared time with Holmes last season and sophomore Dominique Byrd impressed coaches during spring practice.... Carroll said defensive lineman Shaun Cody and linebacker Oscar Lua are recovered from major knee surgeries and would be ready for the Aug. 30 opener at Auburn.
-- Gary Klein