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Aaron Corp getting back in the mix for USC

Quarterback participates in some drills for the first time since injuring his leg.

August 21, 2009|Gary Klein

It's not yet certain who will start at quarterback for USC in the Sept. 5 opener against San Jose State.

But the competition promises to get interesting next week.

Aaron Corp took another step in his comeback from a leg injury Thursday with two sharp performances in seven-on-seven passing drills.

It was Corp's first work with more than one receiver and defender since Aug. 10, when he suffered a cracked bone in his left fibula.

"He had two really good practices under the circumstances," Coach Pete Carroll said. "For him to come out and throw the ball so accurately and strongly, I think, is a big positive."

Corp, a third-year sophomore, entered training camp as the No. 1 quarterback, but has not participated in team scrimmage drills in more than a week. In Corp's absence, freshman Matt Barkley has taken nearly every first-team snap and is in a position to possibly become the first true freshman quarterback to start an opener for the Trojans.Corp is wearing a long brace to protect his leg and has said that he would try to run this weekend with hopes of returning to full practice next week.

USC did not make quarterbacks available to the media Thursday, but Corp appeared pleased with his performance against Trojans reserves.

"His knee looked great, he threw a lot of completions and he had a little fire about him, a little swagger," offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates said after the morning workout.

Bates said there was no timetable for making a decision about an opening-game starter.

"Behind closed doors we're having conversations in where we're going, but right now we've got to wait until Aaron gets back to see where he is as far as the offense, as far as the rhythm and as far as how his knee goes," Bates said.

Regardless of who starts against San Jose State, Carroll has not ruled out the possibility of switching quarterbacks as the schedule progresses, something he has not done at USC.

"It doesn't matter about switching for me if we're switching for the right reasons and everything works out," he said.

Though the Trojans have never platooned quarterbacks under Carroll, he also did not dismiss the concept.

"I just think it's a matter of being open-minded to what's right, and not being stuck with your feet in the ground for whatever reason," he said.

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gary.klein@latimes.com

twitter.com/LATimesklein

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