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June 21, 2006

Turner ready to play

The Trojans engaged in another light practice Tuesday afternoon that culminated in 7-on-7 drills led by quarterback Mark Sanchez and linebacker Dallas Sartz.

Sanchez and fellow quarterback John David Booty scripted the entire practice that began with some one-on-one receiving drills.

"Before we come out the quarterbacks write up a script so we go off that and try to execute that," receiver Patrick Turner said.

Booty stopped throwing after about 60 passes to make sure he did not put too much pressure on his back. His older brother Josh Booty, who played quarterback at LSU, visited practice and said that now John David has had the surgery he is feeling better than ever.

Sanchez and Booty were both on-target throwing to receivers Steve Smith and Turner, but even some defensive players such as Kevin Ellison saw some action catching the ball.

Ellison was one of many players that looked like they had added more muscle during the off-season. Turner also looked like he added some bulk to his 6-foot-5 frame, but said he actually lost 10 pounds.

"I came in at 208 pounds, but I got up to 235 pounds, and now I actually lost weight and I'm at 225 pounds," Turner said.

After the receiving drills, Sanchez and Sartz decided to do some 7-on-7 drills to end the practice.

Sanchez looked sharp, especially on a deep pass over the middle to tight end Fred Davis that would have resulted in a big gain. Booty was held out of the drill, but hopefully in time he will increase his amount of throws and will be ready for some 7-on-7 action.

The defense looked solid especially with defensive backs Kevin Ellison and Terrell Thomas back in action after season-ending knee injuries last year. Sartz led the defense at linebacker and helped incoming freshman Michael Morgan adjust. Morgan looked like he might need to bulk up to play linebacker, but showed the agility and size to play safety.

Santa Ana C.C. safety/kicker David Buehler played some safety during the drill and he was also recruited to do kickoffs during the season.

Incoming freshmen Stanley Havili and Emmanuel Moody saw some action on offense, but it was a pass-only drill so their running back skills were not utilized.

The receiving corps was led by Turner who made some big catches in traffic and muscled some balls away from the defensive players.

Turner said that his injured hamstring is at 100 percent and is feeling great. Turner and the other receivers have been catching passes about twice a week in addition to the other practices as well as working out.

"I'm feeling good and ready," Turner said. "My hamstring is fine."

Turner said he was just excited for the next year to make a bigger impact after catching 12 balls for 170 yards and two touchdowns last year as a freshman.

"I'm really excited for this upcoming year so I can make some things happen," Turner said. "I'm also adjusted to the college game speed from last year and I know the system."

When asked about the Dwayne Jarrett ineligibility issue he said "Dwayne will be fine," but he also said he will be ready to play in any case. Jarrett did not attend the practice.

For our interview with Terrell Thomas click here. Or to view video highlights from practice click here.(premium links)

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Rhett Bollinger has written for the Daily Trojan for two years covering football, baseball, water polo, and basketball. You can reach him at rhettbollinger@gmail.com.


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