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USC football: Rhett Ellison enjoying work at fullback

August 10, 2011 | 12:57 pm

Usc_640 Other than receiver Robert Woods, no one caught more passes for USC last season than tight end Rhett Ellison.

But Ellison, a 6-foot-5, 250-pound senior, is working at fullback during training camp.

Coach Lane Kiffin said Ellison’s experience and knowledge of the offense is enabling the Trojans to learn the position while younger players such as Randall Telfer, Xavier Grimble and Christian Thomas work at tight end.

Ellison is enjoying the move, and the perspective from the backfield as opposed to the line of scrimmage.

“You can see what everybody’s doing so you can kind of find your spot, find your window and see who you have to beat,” Ellison said after Wednesday’s morning practice. “It’s cool. It’s a different view.”

Ellison caught 21 passes, three for touchdowns, in 2010. His reception total is expected to climb this season whether he is coming out of the backfield or lining up at tight end when the Trojans open Sept. 3 against Minnesota.

Ellison said he was not thinking about how the versatility might help his NFL prospects.

“I just look at it as a way to get onto the field more here,” he said. “The more I can do for USC, the better.”

Quick hits

The Trojans will practice in full pads Wednesday night…. Linebacker Chris Galippo is scheduled for an MRI exam on his right shoulder, Kiffin said. Galippo was injured during Tuesday’s workout…. Offensive lineman Aundrey Walker sat out most of practice because of hip soreness…. Receiver Markeith Ambles has not been participating in workouts and won’t until he is declared academically eligible, Kiffin said. Summer-session grades are expected to be posted soon.

More later at


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Photo: Rhett Ellison catches a touchdown pass in front of UCLA's Ricky Marvray in 2010. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times