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Five questions facing USC's football team this spring

All practices except the April 14 scrimmage are closed to the public.

March 05, 2012|By Gary Klein
  • USC receiver George Farmer, during summer camp last year, is healthy and ready to fight for a role with the Trojans.
USC receiver George Farmer, during summer camp last year, is healthy and… (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)

USC opens spring practice Tuesday. The Trojans will work out 15 times, concluding with a scrimmage at the Coliseum on April 14.

All practices except the April 14 scrimmage are closed to the public.

Here are five questions facing the Trojans:

Is there anything left for Matt Barkley to work on?

The senior said he would spend his fourth spring practice refining his footwork and throwing mechanics and becoming "a coach on the field."

That's fine with Coach Lane Kiffin.

"We've got to take our really good players and take them to another level," Kiffin said. "Our challenge for Matt will be to be the best player in college football. That starts right now."

Is George Farmer ready to join former high school teammates Robert Woods and Marqise Lee as a star?

After a midseason move to running back, a healthy Farmer returns to receiver with hopes of utilizing his speed to win a role. Junior De'Von Flournoy and redshirt freshman Victor Blackwell also are competing for the No. 3 spot.

Are there any tailbacks left?

Senior Curtis McNeal and third-year sophomore D.J. Morgan have experience. Redshirt freshman Javorious Allen does not.

Isn't there a gaping hole at defensive tackle?

USC lost Christian Tupou and DaJohn Harris, so George Uko is the most experienced player at the position. J.R. Tavai played as a reserve last season. Antwaun Woods, Cody Temple and Christian Heyward are competing to become contributors.

Who are the new coaches?

Lane Kiffin made three hires, choosing Scottie Hazelton to replace Joe Barry as linebackers coach, Marvin Sanders to fill the vacant defensive backs position and Tee Martin to replace Ted Gilmore as receivers coach.

gary.klein@latimes.com

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