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Friday, March 15, 2013
Week Two: Spring depth chart

By Johnny Curren

The Trojans are almost two weeks through spring ball, and while it is still early, here’s a look at how the team’s depth chart might shake out if the season were to start today.

Cody Kessler (6-1, 215, RS So.) OR Max Browne (6-5, 215, Fr.); Max Wittek (6-foot-4, 235 pounds, RS So.)

The big news of the week was the injury to Wittek, who suffered a sprained MCL in his right knee this past Saturday. He's rehabbing in an effort to get back before the team’s break. In his absence, it’s been Kessler and Browne handling all of the work. Kessler, in particular, has stood out, completing 12 of 15 passes for 192 yards in the Coliseum scrimmage. And after struggling on Tuesday, Browne bounced back with a big outing on Thursday.

Silas Redd
Assuming he's healthy, Silas Redd is the clear No. 1 running back on the Trojans.
Silas Redd (5-10, 200, Sr.); D.J. Morgan (5-10, 190, RS Jr.) OR Tre Madden (6-1, 220, RS So.) OR Javorious Allen (6-1, 210, RS So.) OR Justin Davis (6-1, 215, Fr.)

Redd -- the leader of the unit -- went out with an undisclosed knee injury on Thursday, so that is certainly something to watch. Morgan and Davis have continued their string of solid performances, and Allen was exceptional on Thursday, finishing the day with a 20-yard touchdown run.

Soma Vainuku (6-0, 250, RS. So.); Jahleel Pinner (5-11, 225, So.)

With Vainuku and Pinner fulfilling their roles as gritty blocking backs, USC coach Lane Kiffin said this week he’s hoping for more production out of them with the ball in their hands.

Wide Receiver
Marqise Lee (6-0, 195, Jr.); Nelson Agholor (6-1, 185, So.) OR De’Von Flournoy (6-0, 185, RS Sr.)

Split End
Agholor (6-1, 185, So.) OR George Farmer (6-1, 205, Jr.) OR Victor Blackwell (6-1, 190, RS So.) OR Darreus Rogers (6-2, 195, Fr.)

The coaching staff took a collective sigh of relief when Lee’s knee injury was revealed as being a mild sprain. Agholor has been putting on a show so far, and he’s positioned himself nicely to assume the role as the No. 2 receiver. Rogers stepped up his play this week. And after racking up 74 receiving yards last Saturday in the scrimmage, Farmer suffered an apparent shoulder injury on Thursday, the severity of which is not yet known.

Tight End
Xavier Grimble (6-5, 255, RS Jr.) OR Randall Telfer (6-4, 255, RS Jr.); Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick (6-5, 245, So.)

Grimble was the top performer of the tight ends group this week, making quite a statement on Thursday with a nice showing while playing through a rib injury.

Aundrey Walker
Junior Aundrey Walker is looking to seize control of the all-important left tackle spot.
Offensive Line
Left Tackle
Aundrey Walker (6-6, 300, Jr.); Chad Wheeler (6-7, 270, RS Fr.); David Garness (6-5, 285, Sr.)

Left Guard
Marcus Martin (6-3, 325, Jr.); Giovanni Di Poalo (6-4, 280, RS Jr.); Cyrus Hobbi (6-3, 285, RS So.)

Max Tuerk (6-6, 285, So.); Hobbi OR Martin

Right Guard
John Martinez (6-2, 305, RS Sr.); Jordan Simmons (6-5, 335, RS Fr.)

Right Tackle
Kevin Graf (6-6, 300, RS Sr.); Nathan Guertler (6-5, 270, RS Jr.) OR Zach Banner (6-9. 335, RS Fr.)

Tuerk continues to run with the first unit at center, while Martin also worked at the position this week -- a move that saw Hobbi slide over to left guard. At left tackle, Walker has been taking all of the reps with the starting group, while his primary backup, Wheeler, went out with an undisclosed knee injury on Thursday.

Defensive Line
Defensive End No. 1
Leonard Williams (6-5, 270, So.); Charles Burks (6-0, 230, RS So.)

Defensive End No. 2
George Uko (6-3, 275, RS Jr.); Julian Coleman (6-2, 240, RS Sr.)

Morgan Breslin
Morgan Breslin has picked up right where he left off in the fall, putting together a dominant effort in Thursday's practice.
Nose Tackle
Antwaun Woods (6-1, 305, RS. So.); Kenny Bigelow (6-3, 295, Fr.)

Predator OLB
Morgan Breslin (6-2, 250, Sr.); Jabari Ruffin (6-4, 230, RS Fr.)

Devon Kennard (6-3, 260, RS Sr.); Kevin Greene (6-4, 255, RS Sr.) OR Marquis Simmons (6-1, 220, RS Sr.)

Breslin and Kennard seem to get better and better with each day of practice. Breslin recorded four tackles for loss last Saturday, while Kennard had a sack. Woods and Bigelow look like a more-than-capable one-two punch at nose, but the defensive line still awaits the return of J.R. Tavai, Greg Townsend Jr. and Cody Temple from injury to add some much needed depth.

Inside Linebacker
MIKE Linebacker
Hayes Pullard (6-1, 235, RS Jr.); Will Andrew (6-2, 235, RS Sr.) OR Kyle Yatabe (6-0, 215, Sr.)

WILL Linebacker
Anthony Sarao (6-0, 215, RS So.) OR Lamar Dawson (6-2, 235, Jr.); Simione Vehikite (5-11, 225, RS Sr.)

Pullard continues to stand out, both for his play on the field as well as for his leadership. Sarao and Dawson both seem to be benefiting from their competition, with Dawson leading the team with six tackles in the scrimmage.

Free Safety
Demetrius Wright (6-1, 195, Sr.); Leon McQuay III (6-2, 185, Fr.)

Strong Safety
Josh Shaw (6-1, 190, RS Jr.); Su’a Cravens (6-3, 215, Fr.)

Wright and Shaw give the Trojans two heady veterans at safety, and they both continue to line up with the starting unit. Cravens came up with a phenomenal performance on Tuesday, collecting two interceptions while just missing out on a third. And after moving over from cornerback, McQuay has already made an impact at his more natural safety position.

Right Corner
Anthony Brown (5-9, 180, RS Jr.); Ryan Henderson (5-10, 170, RS So.) OR Ryan Dillard (5-10, 185, So.)

Left Corner
Torin Harris (6-0, 190, RS Sr.); Chris Hawkins (6-0, 170, Fr.); Kevon Seymour (6-0, 170, So.)

With Seymour out with an ankle injury, it’s been the veteran, Harris, who has stepped into the No. 1 spot on the left side, with Hawkins as the backup. On the other side, Brown looks somewhat rejuvenated in defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast’s new scheme.

Special Teams
Andre Heidari (5-10, 200, Jr.); Alex Wood (5-10, 175, So.)

Kris Albarado (5-10, 200, RS So.)
There hasn't been a lot of work to go off of, but there's little doubt that Heidari is in prime position to be USC's kicker for the third straight season, while Albarado certainly appears set to handle the punting.