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USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Jets QB Sanchez pays a visit

Former quarterback Mark Sanchez wasn't thrilled showing up at USC at 5:30 a.m. Thursday, but with the NFL lockout Sanchez decided to throw some passes and take in a Trojans practice when he normally would be with the New York Jets.

However, Sanchez hardly endorsed USC coach Lane Kiffin's idea of early morning practices.

"It's early," Sanchez said. "I like to get a little lunch. Maybe a nap. And then practice."

Sanchez tossed passes, helped signal plays and watched the Trojans practice for two hours.

"He remembers all the play calls," USC quarterback Matt Barkley said.

Sanchez also addressed the Trojans during a team meeting in which he stressed getting a degree.

"My most important thing when I declared (for the NFL) was I had my degree," Sanchez said. "I just told them to enjoy where you're at. They probably fell asleep half through it."

Barkley said Sanchez's appearance boosted spirits at practice.

"It's always good to hear from a guy in the league," Barkley said. "Just catching up and talking ball."
Tyler returns

Tailback Marc Tyler, who pulled his hamstring the first practice, returned Thursday and said he was 100 percent.

"I wanted to get back out here," Tyler said. "It was boring."

Tyler got in trouble two weeks ago when he said USC players weren't allowed to stretch properly because of the early practice times. He was supposed to meet with Kiffin but never did because Kiffin was out of the office when Tyler visited.

"I hope he's glad to have me back," Tyler said.

Kiffin confirmed that when he said, "(Tyler is) the one big back on our roster."

Maybe a little too big. Tyler weighs about 230 pounds, more than his playing weight of 217 last season.

"It's because of Christmas break," Tyler said. "Not having a bowl game. That was a long break."

Tyler said he would lose the extra weight in the summer."
Barkley and interceptions

Barkley brushed off his penchant for interceptions during spring drills.

"I'm not concerned at all," he said. "The (interception I threw Tuesday) was a free play because the defense was offsides. I'm not worried about that at all."
Injury report

Offensive lineman Jeremy Galten injured his knee and underwent X-rays.

Defensive tackle Christian Tupou, who bruised his knee Tuesday, might return Saturday. Tupou practiced for the first time this week after tearing knee ligaments last week.

"My ACL is good," Tupou said. "This is not a setback."

Wide receiver Markeith Ambles was held out of practice as punishment after being late for a weightlifting session.

Starting cornerback Tony Burnett missed Thursday's practice to attend the Texas Relays track meet and will also miss Saturday's practice.
Wright moves up

Kiffin said sophomore Demetrius Wright might start at safety opposite T.J. McDonald. That would place him ahead of Marshall Jones, Jawanza Starling and Drew McAllister.

"Demetrius Wright really flashed," Kiffin said. "His ability to hit and tackle."

 

Read more at pasadenastarnews.com

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