Choices to come: Corp nears return

It was move-in day Wednesday at USC, new students and their parents jamming parking garages and transporting belongings into dorms.

Some probably wondered what all the commotion was about at nearby Howard Jones Field, where USC players engaged in so much shouting they drowned out the omnipresent sound of the Trojans marching band, which also is in the midst of training camp.

Freshman quarterback Matt Barkley was among those trading good-natured barbs with defensive players.

"Just joking around a bit, trying to get some tempo out there and get 'em talking," Barkley said. "Always fun to do when I'm not in, but I try to stay off that when I'm playing."

Barkley has taken nearly every first-team snap since Aaron Corp suffered a leg injury Aug. 10, but that situation will change next week if Corp returns to practice as expected.

Corp threw passes in one-on-one drills Wednesday and will participate in a seven-on-seven drill during this morning's workout. He is scheduled to begin running this weekend.

If Corp is fit enough to run the Trojans' offense next week, Coach Pete Carroll will have two weeks to decide whether to reinstall Corp as the No. 1 quarterback or stay with Barkley for the Sept. 5 opener against San Jose State.

"This has been a great opportunity for Matt to really take charge and be in control and all that, so we feel good," Carroll said. "If we're going that way and Aaron's not quite back, we'll go into the first game with Matt.

"But I want to get Aaron a real good shot to show that he's the No. 1 guy like he had been when he got hurt."

Carroll refused to be locked into a date that he would have to make a decision.

"I'm just going to wait until I feel it," he said.

Corp would not predict how long it would take to regain his form.

"Could be I need two weeks," he said, "could be I need two days."

Said Carroll: "We'll wait and see how he looks, see how confident he is and see if he's ready, willing and able to execute."

O'Dowd optimistic

Center Kristofer O'Dowd hopes that his dislocated right kneecap will be healed in time for the opener, but he is not counting on it.

"I'll be lucky to make it back for San Jose State," said O'Dowd, who suffered the injury during Monday's scrimmage. "But if not, I'll have Ohio State [on Sept. 12] for sure. . . . If I do need that extra week to strengthen it up, then it gives me a good opportunity to do that."

O'Dowd sat out four games in 2007 because of a dislocation of the same kneecap. He was injured Monday when a defensive lineman fell on his leg during a running play.

"It was painful -- I didn't know what to expect because a lot could have happened with the ligaments," he said. "I was praying and hoping for the best-case scenario and that's what I got."

O'Dowd began rehabilitation Wednesday. He will move on to flexibility exercises next week.

Senior Alex Parsons is on track to start in O'Dowd's spot if he cannot return in time for the opener.

Quick hits

Tight end Blake Ayles was absent from practice because he underwent an exploratory procedure for a heart arrhythmia. He is expected to be sidelined for a few days. . . . Freshman James Boyd moved from defensive end to tight end. . . . Freshman defensive back Patrick Hall practiced for the first time but sat out after suffering a leg injury early in the workout. . . . Receiver Robert Woods of Gardena Serra High told that he committed to USC. . . . The Trojans practice at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. today.


Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World