Both players suffered knee injuries last Saturday prior to the Coliseum scrimmage that USC coach Lane Kiffin described as “not serious.”
“It wasn’t one of our better practices,” Kiffin said. “This can happen in the second week, everyone is fired up to get going so they start well the first week but they came out today in full pads and it was hot so they need to learn to get through that. It had nothing to do with Wittek and Lee not being out there.”
Lee was fully dressed but did not participate in drills while Wittek was not in pads and he wore a sleeve brace around his right knee.
“I’ve got a sprained MCL,” Wittek said. “Nothing is torn, so that’s a positive, and it can’t get any worse so it’s just a matter of pain tolerance to when I can return. I’m rehabbing 2-3 times a day and if I can’t get back by the end of the week, I should be fine to go when we get back from spring break. You never want an injury but if it’s going to happen it’s good to happen now.
“The injury happened while I was holding for a placekick, kind of a silly way to happen. If there’s a bad snap again on a kick, if it’s not in a game I will probably get out of the way next time. But if the team needs me to be there, I’ll be there.”
MVP of the day: True freshman Su’a Cravens put together his best practice of spring with two interceptions and a key pass break-up, all against Max Browne. The first interception was an overthrown attempt by Browne to hit Xavier Grimble and Cravens simply played center field to get the pick. The second pick was an aggressive break on the ball by Cravens while the pass break-up came over the middle on a pass attempt for Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick.
“Su’a is a very special player,” Kiffin said. “He prepares so well, always soaking things up, watching film. He’s similar to Robert Woods and Nickell Robey in that way and both of those guys started from day one.”
Kiffin said Cravens is already at 220 pounds.
Boselli in the house: Former USC All-American offensive tackle Tony Boselli attended practice and talked to the players afterwards. Kiffin said the message was about representing USC well, about how the former players all watch the team and there is an expectation for playing at USC. He also mentioned how everybody has had bad years but the key is how you work through it.
Injury updates: Kevon Seymour left practice early with a left foot injury, and there was no word on any specifics. When Seymour was out, Torin Harris moved into his spot with the first unit at corner. Devian Shelton did not practice as he had a boot on his left foot.
Position switches: Leon McQuay was moved back to his original position of safety today and he wasted no time in making his presence known with a solid hit against Silas Redd that forced an incompletion. There was also movement on the offensive line as Marcus Martin took some snaps with the second unit at center while Cyrus Hobbi lined up at left guard.
* Marquis Simmons had a sack on Max Browne.
* Buck Allen had a pair of nice runs today of 30+ yards.
* D.J. Morgan had the top run of the day when he burst through the line and raced untouched for a 70-yard score.
* Devon Kennard had a sack on Kessler.
Scrimmage review: Kiffin said after reviewing the scrimmage, he thought Lamar Dawson played great and so did Kennard.
Monte returns: Former USC defensive coach Monte Kiffin was on the sidelines for the practice. Monte got into town on Sunday night as the Dallas Cowboys have the week off and his son said it was not a surprise to see him at the USC facility.
“We had dinner Sunday night and then Monday morning I got a text from him asking if he could come to the office,” Lane Kiffin said. “He was here all day yesterday and he’s here now. This is what he knows.”