- Garry Paskwietz, Publisher, WeAreSC.com
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The first month of the USC Trojans' summer throwing sessions have concluded and players will take a break for the July 4 holiday before resuming workouts next week. Here are five incoming players who performed well over the past month in their initial action on the field with their new teammates.
1. WR De'Quan Hampton: The expectations were there for Hampton as the top-ranked wide receiver in junior college, and he has shown he should be able to contribute immediately as part of the receiver rotation. Hampton has a big frame at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds and he moves well for his size. Coach Steve Sarkisian has discussed his desire to incorporate bigger receivers into the game plan and Hampton fits that mold well.
2. WR Deontay Burnett: While Burnett, a "blueshirt" scholarship recipient for the class of 2016, won't technically be part of the USC program until fall camp starts, he has wasted little time in showing he brings some skills to the table. He is slight at 165 pounds on a 6-foot frame, but he has long arms and strong fundamentals for the position. Give him a year or two in the weight room, and USC fans may be surprised at how good he can be.
3. RE Porter Gustin: There was a lot of speculation about where Gustin would line up and so far he has been at the rush end spot, where he has made a habit of getting into the backfield with multiple quarterback sacks. Gustin is a unique athlete and it looks like he could get in the mix right away with Scott Felix and Jabari Ruffin for playing time to replace J.R. Tavai.
4. CB Iman Marshall: The spotlight has been on "Biggie" from the moment he walked onto the practice field. There, he jumped into the competition immediately, often lining up across from JuJu Smith as the former Poly teammates know each other's moves well. Marshall has shown a strong competitive spirit to go along with his obvious physical skills, and while he has won his share of reps and lost some too, it's clear the Trojans have something special here. I also like the way he has been bending the ear of veterans such as Kevon Seymour and Su'a Cravens for advice.
5. S Marvell Tell: Maturity is a word that comes to mind when you watch Tell on the field, he handles himself like a veteran and works hard. He's also made some typical freshman plays but that is to be expected. I like that he stays composed and doesn't get rattled.
1dChantel Jennings and Ted Miller