With two spring practice sessions in the books for the Trojans, it’s time to take a quick look at how a team depth chart might look if it were released today.
Kessler opened up spring camp with a big performance on Tuesday, but Wittek has certainly had his moments, and even the young freshman, Browne, has caught USC coach Lane Kiffin’s eye, making this battle too close to call. And that’s the way it could stay throughout the spring, as Kiffin revealed he’s in no hurry to name a starter.
With a full season under his belt at USC, Redd looks comfortable and focused as the starter. Morgan showcased a couple of big plays this week, while Madden looked much sharper than you might imagine a year removed from his knee injury. Davis, meanwhile, has been perhaps the hit of the early-entrant group so far, making the most of his limited carries in practice.
Two of the team's hardest workers, Vainuku and Pinner alternated as the team’s primary fullbacks. It remains to be seen, however, if they’ll take on a bigger role in the offense.
Lee has been his typical All-American self, while on the other side, Agholor who has jumped ahead of the pack, shining on Tuesday and Thursday. Farmer and Blackwell have also performed solidly, while Rogers was mentioned by Wittek and Kessler following Thursday’s practice as someone who stood out to them.
Grimble and Telfer have developed into a fantastic all-around duo, and they’ve been relied upon heavily this week by the three competing quarterbacks. Cope-Fitzpatrick has had a couple of nice outings, especially as a pass-catching option, and he looks destined to factor into the rotation in 2013.
The big story has been the move of Tuerk -- who was at tackle and guard in 2012 -- to center, where he lined up with the starting group both days this week. Walker looks to be holding the right tackle position down, despite being pushed by Wheeler. And after providing the block of the camp so far when he pancaked Kenny Bigelow on day one, Simmons has shown that he just might be ready to contribute.
DE No. 1
DE No. 2
Antwaun Woods (6-1, 305, RS. So.); Kenny Bigelow (6-3, 295, Fr.)
OLB No. 1
OLB No. 2
On the interior, Williams and Uko certainly haven’t disappointed, while Woods looks like a nice fit at nose, although Bigelow could potentially push him for playing time down the line. Ruffin has been somewhat of a revelation at outside linebacker, but Breslin and Kennard don’t look to be in danger of losing their starting jobs any time soon. The expected return of J.R. Tavai, Greg Townsend Jr. and Cody Temple later in the spring from injury will definitely change the look of this unit.
ILB No. 1
ILB No. 2
Pullard has been stellar in his new role at inside linebacker, and he’s sure to play a big part in the success of the Trojans defense in 2013. In a surprise, Sarao has taken the majority of the reps with the first team defense on the other side this spring, looking at home.
Wright has paired nicely in the first unit with Shaw, who has been one of the standouts. Cravens has already shown flashes of the talent that made him such a prized recruit, but with Gerald Bowman and Dion Bailey -- who will potentially line up at safety in 2013 -- out with injuries for the entirety of the spring, this is a unit with little depth at the moment.
With both cornerback spots wide open, it’s been Brown and Seymour who have received the most reps with the first group. But this competition is still a long way from being decided, and Harris, Shelton and Hawkins have showed well at times. McQuay is still adjusting to the new position, but certainly has the talent and athleticism to shine down the road.