The Redshirts are Coming ...

Discussion in 'GarryP's Trojan Huddle' started by HelixTrojan, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. The Redshirts are Coming ...
    HelixTrojan

    HelixTrojan Junior Member


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    #1
    One of the strengths of a roster is the number of talented red-shirt freshmen that are in position to make a bid for significant time on the field in any given year.

    Last year, WR Tyler Vaughns was the breakout red-shirt freshman who made a big impact on the field.

    This year, there is a wider group who could be significant contributors in 2018:

    First Group -

    * NT Marlon Tuipulotu - an immediate rotation player on defense before a back injury caused him to red-shirt his frosh year. Having a big time talent back in the interior DLine rotation is a big plus, as it is only a matter of reps for MarlonT.

    * CB Greg Johnson - made noise last Fall Camp before an injury set-back, and then came back to get more duties early in the 2017 season before a re-aggravation of the shoulder injury from camp resulted in a red-shirt year. He's young, but a strong competitor who likes to mix it up.

    * OLB Hunter Echols - one of the most physically improved players on the roster, Echols has put on 20lbs of muscle during the off-season as a disciple to starter Porter Gustin.

    Next Group -

    * DT Jay Tufele - it will be interesting to see how far Tufele can insert himself into DC Pendergast's defensive line scheme. He is stronger and more familiar with his assignments coming into Fall Camp.

    * Center Brett Neilon - in his second year, Neilon will look to prove himself as a reliable reserve on an OLine that will need to find at least (3) backups who can play at a moment's notice.

    * Safety Isaiah Pola Mao - an early shoulder injury his frosh season put him on the shelf. He's back now, and few players look better in a uniform at 6'4, 200lbs.


    Others -

    * QB Jack Sears
    * OG Alijah Vera-Tucker
    * OT Jalen McKenzie
    * CB Je'Quari Godfrey
    * DL Jacob Lichtenstein
     
       
  2. TrojanFireHorse12

    TrojanFireHorse12 Junior Member


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    #2
    The competition is going to be amazing, this fall camp. It's great to see that we're starting to see the type of depth needed to field teams, in practice and rest player. Instead of relying so heavily on starters in every game, for ridiculous minutes. Now the roster is almost three deep in every position.

    Which can/should change a team.

    I mean look at this as an example (from the other site); An overview of roster size's over the span of six years in total, in comparison to other teams.

    So that means if we can get at least 23 or 25 players this cycle and bump up the body count. We'll be just in the range needed for optimal depth to let loose.

    Of course none of that is one to one. Not every member in a class makes it on the roster or pans out (let alone produces). Still we don't have a lot of leg room to miss and there's been some misses. For obvious reasons and we're still sort of not there just yet.

    But it's coming.
    ..............

    Beside that though, i really do hope that Clancy gets Isaiah or Talanoa into the mix this season. An i know Su'a was put into a hybrid position. Out of necessity and due to his freakish talent.

    Which both posess in my opinion (so do a few others dudes). It could be beneficial for them and to us to those two in games this season, if their ready. By way of some particular packages or two. Plus by the look of things the safety position is pretty stacked, although Talanoa could also play CB and could play offense.

    All of whom should see the field, along with Greg J.

    Besides those guys, i think Jay T has the potential to have a monster this season (similar to or more so than Pili), he looks like a beast this off season and looks ready. Then you got Marlon who should be another guy, that contributes big, but maybe later on in the season (if his progression is slowed).

    Overall, i really hope Clancy and co know how to use all these pieces and the game plan highlights and develops those intangibles. Also i think Echols and Jacob will/could be sleepers. This defense has the potential to be scary.

    Just from a developmental and rotational aspect alone (that new ruling will be gangbusters).

    Forget the returnee's in Rector, Gustin, Tell, Harris, Pili, Malik, Cam, Huston, Iosefa, Iman...etc.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
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  3. HelixTrojan

    HelixTrojan Junior Member


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    #3
    This is the key.

    Before the season started in 2004, we knew SC would be excellent. And one of the reasons was the red-shirt frosh that were coming into that year.

    It was the likes of OT Sam Baker, DE Lawrence Jackson, DT Sed Ellis, CB Terrell Thomas, OL Drew Radovich, RB Desmond Reed, etc.

    When that kind of talent red-shirts the previous year, you know that sustainable success is in the future.

    As you say, it's coming.
     
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  4. SoCalN8tiv

    SoCalN8tiv Junior Member


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    #4
    IMHO, Brett Neilon is gonna snatch away the starting job from Toa at center. I think Toa in there limits what USC can do on sweeps and pulls from the center spot, which will compel Drevno to push for a change because he is the running game coordinator. Toa will be fine along the LOS working the combo-blocks but once he has to pull or block one on one at the second level he'll be ineffective. That's my take.
     
  5. USC92

    USC92 Points Member


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    #6
    Really? The way I see it, tackles are much more athletic than centers. Toa can and did play tackle, don't think there's a chance Neilon can play tackle. Also, from my perspective only watching games last year, Toa seemed to be more effective in getting to the second level than working along the LOS because he was a smaller tackle.
     
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  6. 3rd Slide

    3rd Slide Junior Member


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    #7
    I keep thinking how much talent is there for special teams. Kick coverage is going to have some seriously motivated talent.
     
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  7. wyotrojans

    wyotrojans Junior Member


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    #9
    That’s an interesting take on Toa. I’ve never been impressed by Toa. My biggest complaint with Toa is his inability to move guys off the line of scrimmage. It seems like he gets physically overpowered constantly against good competition.

    He does fine against the Arizonas of the world but gets his butt kicked against future NFL tackles. I really really hope he’s improved because we need him to play well.
     
  8. HelixTrojan

    HelixTrojan Junior Member


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    #10
    The unfortunate thing for Toa is that he's being judged on his play "out of position" at offensive tackle last season. At about 6'2, it's pretty crazy the Pac 12 coaches still voted him to the All Pac 12 2nd team.

    This year, he's back at his natural position of Center where his measurables fit.

    I think most have forgotten how good he was as a true frosh starter on the interior line, and then the fact that he was the starter at Center before he got hurt halfway through the first game of 2016.

    Toa is going to get the "pre-snap, blocking assignment calls" right, which is really going to help the run game and pass protection.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
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  9. mvpreed2

    mvpreed2 Junior Member


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    #11
    For me it depends on how we fill those spots.
    Are we filling them with 2s and 3s on the depth chart, or are we putting the best candidate on there even if some of them happen to be 1s?

    I believe we need to get back to putting the best guy out there and letting the chips fall where they may, because us holding back has allowed some big plays in special teams and that field position can swing momentum AND a game one way or another.
     
  10. GoSC27!

    GoSC27! Points Member


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    #12
    Freshmen or not, we need improvement with a solid punt returner and kick off returner. Although both Velus and Ajene have speed, we did not get any points from them last year. We also got put in bad field position on punt returns on many occasions. I know we have options with the incoming freshmen and I hope Baxter takes advantage of them.
    As for defensive coverages it really is not that difficult for coverage just hold your line and maybe that is one of the reasons freshman play on special teams. It also gives the defense added rest. And lastly, we all know that to play defense in Clancy’s system you have to earn his trust, meaning you have set responsibilities. You could have talent, but if you don’t have Clancy’s trust you are going to sit. I hope that changes this year as he gets more kids in the rotation.
    Fight On!
     

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