The USC football team hasn’t donned pads yet, but that didn’t stop senior guard Jeff Byers from laying out freshman defensive end Kevin Greene.
The play happened during the second practice of training camp Sunday. Quarterback Aaron Corp scrambled left, then turned back and ran right. As Greene gave chase, Byers blindsided him with a clean, crunching block. Greene ended up on the turf as the rest of the Trojans hooted and hollered.
“Kevin Greene found out what Jeff Byers is all about,” USC coach Pete Carroll said.
Byers is known for his all-out hustle, which he frequently displayed last season despite being underweight after a summer illness limited his training.
Byers said he weighed 280 pounds “on a good day” last season. Now he’s at 297.
“My body feels good,” said Byers, who missed the 2005 and ‘06 seasons because of injuries. “I’m heavy. I’m just ready to go. I’ve still got to work hard, still got to really hone my skills. (But) I can actually come out and play the whole camp and feel good about myself.”
Byers is the senior leader of an offensive line that returns its top eight players and should be among the nation’s best. Greene got a little taste of it Sunday.
“Just playing football. Toughen the young guys up,” Byers said. “We practice full speed, pads or no pads. When we’re going full speed, I’m not thinking about whether I have pads on.”
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