by Johnny Curren
With two weeks of spring practice at USC in the books, and Steve Sarkisian’s squad now in the midst of a week away from action, here’s a look at what a current Trojans depth chart just might look like based on what has been observed.
* Those listed in italics are limited or recently injured. Players with long-term injuries who have not been practicing are not listed.
Cody Kessler (6-foot-1, 210 pounds, RS Sr.); Max Browne (6-5, 220, RS So.); Jalen Greene (6-2, 200, RS Fr.); Ricky Town (6-3, 205, Fr.)
Save for some shaky moments this past Saturday, Kessler has looked like the seasoned veteran that everyone expected coming into the spring. Browne has also had a solid camp so far, making steady strides as he has throughout his time on campus.
Justin Davis (6-1, 195, Jr.); Soma Vainuku (6-0, 270, RS Sr.); James Toland IV (5-11, 185, RS So.); Stefan Smith (6-1, 195, RS Fr.); Tre Madden (6-1, 220, RS Sr.)
Soma Vainuku (6-0, 270, RS Sr.) OR Jahleel Pinner (5-11, 235, Sr.)
Davis continues to carry the load as the only scholarship tailback available. In limited work Madden has looked sharp during the individual drills and 7-on-7 periods that he has participated in. Vainuku has had a very busy, and productive spring, taking plenty of reps at tailback as well as at his normal fullback spot.
JuJu Smith (6-2, 210, So.); Robby Kolanz (5-10, 170, RS Jr.) OR Aaron Minor (6-2, 200, RS So.)
Darreus Rogers (6-1, 215, Jr.); Steven Mitchell (5-10, 185, RS So.); Isaac Whitney (6-4, 205, RS Jr.);
Steven Mitchell (5-10, 185, RS So.); Adoree’ Jackson (5-11, 185, So.); Christian Tober (5-8, 175, RS Jr.); Ajene Harris (5-11, 180, So.)
Mitchell has performed at an extremely high level in the slot, as well as outside, showcasing the explosive burst in his step that everyone has been waiting to see. Smith and Jackson continue to come up with highlight grabs on a regular basis, and Rogers has started to come on as of late as well. Harris tweaked his hamstring during last Thursday’s workout and was held out of action on Saturday.
Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick (6-4, 250, RS Jr.) OR Connor Spears (6-6, 240, RS So.)
With Bryce Dixon still out of the equation, both Cope-Fitzpatrick and Spears have had little time to rest. Cope-Fitzpatrick is still shaking off some rust after having been forced to sit out the 2014 season, but he appears to be slowly rounding back into form. Spears has done a solid job with the extended opportunity that he has received.
Toa Lobendahn (6-3, 280, So.); Nico Falah (6-4, 285, RS So.); Roy Hemsley (6-6, 310, Fr.)
Damien Mama (6-5, 370, So.); Chris Brown (6-5, 295, RS Fr.)
Max Tuerk (6-6, 285, Sr.); Khaliel Rodgers (6-3, 315, RS So.) OR Toa Lobendahn (6-3, 280, So.)
Viane Talamaivao (6-3, 330, So.); Jordan Simmons (6-4, 350, RS Jr.);Nico Falah (6-4, 285, RS So.)
Zach Banner (6-9, 350, RS Jt.); Chuma Edoga (6-4, 285, Fr.); Jordan Austin (6-5, 280, RS Fr.)
Lobedahn has been showing off his versatility, periodically taking reps with the No. 1 and 2 offenses at center. When that has occurred, Falah has taken his place with the first team at left tackle.
Cody Temple (6-2, 310, RS Sr.); Joey Augello (6-0, 290, Sr.) Kenny Bigelow (6-3, 310, RS So.)
Delvon Simmons (6-5, 295, RS Sr.); Malik Dorton (6-2, 250, RS Fr.)
Claude Pelon (6-4, 295, RS Sr.); Jeff Miller (6-1, 245, RS Jr.)
Scott Felix (6-2, 230, RS Jr.); Don Hill (6-3, 245, RS Fr.)
Simmons and Pelon have had their moments, but probably need to be more consistent, while Temple has shown some promise while filling in for Antwaun Woods at nose tackle. Felix has put together a nice camp so far, disrupting plays near the line of scrimmage.
Su’a Cravens (6-1, 225, Jr.); Quinton Powell (6-2, 200, Jr.)
Lamar Dawson (6-1, 230, RS Sr.); Cameron Smith (6-3, 240, Fr.)
Michael Hutchings (6-1, 210, Jr.); Olajuwon Tucker (6-3, 220, So.)
Cravens has been a force as usual at SAM linebacker, and his backup, Powell, has been making some noise with his play as well. Dawson, making a full-time return from his ACL injury, has looked like a new player at MIKE linebacker. With the No. 2 defense, Smith has made a fast impression, collecting an interception in each of the past two practice sessions.
Adoree’ Jackson (5-11, 185, So.); Chris Hawkins (5-11, 185, RS So.) OR Jonathan Lockett (5-11, 175, So.); Jalen Jones (5-8, 155, RS Fr.)
Kevon Seymour (6-0, 185, Sr.); Lamont Simmons (6-2, 185, RS Fr.); Ryan Dillard (5-9, 185, Sr.)
John Plattenburg (5-11, 180, So.); Chris Hawkins (5-11, 185, RS So.); Matt Lopes (5-11, 180, RS So.)
Leon McQuay III (6-1, 185, Jr.); Chris Hawkins (5-11, 185, RS So.) OR Jonathan Lockett (5-11, 175, So.)
Hawkins and Lockett have been taking plenty of reps at safety as of late in addition to cornerback. Jackson and Seymour are both having a great spring, as is Plattenburg, who has drawn praise from Sarkisian. Simmons is starting to gain some notice as well.
Matt Boermeester (6-0, 185, RS So.) OR Alex Wood (5-10, 175, RS Jr.)
Kris Albarado (5-10, 200, RS Sr.)
Boermeester and Wood have both performed solidly as they compete for the starting placekicker job, but Sarkisian was also quick to highlight the play of long snapper Zach Smith and holder Conner Sullivan recently.