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Thursday, July 25, 2013
Week Five: Spring depth chart

By Johnny Curren

With fourteen of USC’s fifteen spring practice sessions now in the books, and with the scrimmage finale just one day away, here is a glance at how a potential team depth chart just might look if it were released today.

Quarterback
Max Wittek (6-foot-4, 235 pounds, RS So.) OR Cody Kessler (6-1, 215, RS So.) OR Max Browne (6-5, 215, Fr.)
All three quarterbacks have played solidly as of late, with Wittek, in particular, making a big impression. In the team’s last scrimmage, in fact, the former Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei standout completed 14 of 17 attempts for 200 yards and two touchdowns. Still, this competition is too close to call.

Justin Davis
Injuries to veteran running backs have given Justin Davis a chance to move up the depth chart.
Tailback
Buck Allen (6-1, 210, RS So.) OR Justin Davis (6-1, 215, Fr.) OR Tre Madden (6-1, 220, RS So.); D.J. Morgan (5-10, 190, RS Jr.); Silas Redd (5-10, 200, Sr.)
With Redd and Morgan out, and Madden still limited, Allen and Davis continue to get a ton of work, and both have performed at a very high level. Davis, the young early-entrant freshman, has been especially productive -- he racked up 116 yards and one touchdown on the ground last Saturday.

Fullback
Jahleel Pinner (5-11, 225, So.); Simione Vehikite (5-11, 225, RS Sr.); Soma Vainuku (6-0, 250, RS. So.);
Pinner has been impressive, and according to running backs coach Tommie Robinson, no other member of his unit has made greater strides this spring.

Wide Receiver
Flanker

Nelson Agholor (6-1, 185, So.); De’Von Flournoy (6-0, 185, RS Sr.)

Split End
Marqise Lee (6-0, 195, Jr.); Victor Blackwell (6-1, 190, RS So.); Darreus Rogers (6-2, 195, Fr.)
With Lee back in the fold, he combines with Agholor to give the Trojans two of the best receivers around. Both have been absolutely stellar over the course of the past week, with Lee lighting up the stat sheet in the scrimmage last weekend, hauling in 10 receptions for 191 yards and two touchdowns. Both Flournoy and Rogers are out for Saturday’s scrimmage due to injury.

Tight End
Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick (6-5, 245, So.); Randall Telfer (6-4, 255, RS Jr.); Xavier Grimble (6-5, 255, RS Jr.)
Telfer went down on Tuesday with a torn meniscus in his knee, leaving Cope-Fitzpatrick as the lone tight end available for the spring game. Having shown tremendous improvement throughout the last five weeks, the young sophomore should get plenty of chances to shine in the contest.

Offensive Line
Left tackle
Aundrey Walker (6-6, 300, Jr.); Nathan Guertler (6-5, 270, RS Jr.); Chad Wheeler (6-7, 270, RS Fr.)

Left guard
Max Tuerk (6-6, 285, So.); Giovanni Di Poalo (6-4, 280, RS Jr.)

Kevin Graf
Kevin Graf has become a leader of the offensive line and will help anchor the right side.
Center
Marcus Martin (6-3, 325, Jr.); Cyrus Hobbi (6-3, 285, RS So.)

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.); Zach Banner (6-9. 335, RS Fr.)
Martin continues to look at home at the center position, providing the offense with its most consistent level of play of the spring there. On the right side, veterans Martinez and Graf have quietly emerged as the leaders of the unit.

Defensive Line
DE No. 1
Leonard Williams (6-5, 270, So.); J.R. Tavai (6-2, 265, Jr.)

DE No. 2
George Uko (6-3, 275, RS Jr.); Charles Burks (6-0, 230, RS So.) OR Cody Temple (6-3, 285, RS So.)

Nose tackle
Cody Temple (6-3, 285, RS So.) OR Kenny Bigelow (6-3, 295, Fr.); Antwaun Woods (6-1, 305, RS. So.)

Predator OLB
Morgan Breslin (6-2, 250, Sr.); Marquis Simmons (6-1, 220, RS Sr.); Jabari Ruffin (6-4, 230, RS Fr.)

Sam OLB
Devon Kennard (6-3, 260, RS Sr.); Kevin Greene (6-4, 255, RS Sr.)
Woods went down on Tuesday with an injury and has been ruled out for Saturday’s scrimmage, as has backup predator outside linebacker Ruffin. In Woods’ place, Temple ran with the first group at nose tackle on Thursday.

Inside Linebacker
Mike linebacker
Hayes Pullard (6-1, 235, RS Jr.); Julian Coleman (6-2, 240, RS Sr.) OR Will Andrew (6-2, 235, RS Sr.)

Will linebacker
Anthony Sarao (6-0, 215, RS So.) OR Lamar Dawson (6-2, 235, Jr.)
The battle for the Will linebacker position continues to heat up, with Dawson getting perhaps his most extensive work of the spring with the first unit on Thursday.

Tyler Eifert
Whether it's at safety or corner, expect Josh Shaw to break up plenty of passes for USC this fall.
Safety
Free Safety

Demetrius Wright (6-1, 195, Sr.); Leon McQuay III (6-2, 185, Fr.); Ryan Dillard (5-10, 185, So.)

Strong Safety
Josh Shaw (6-1, 190, RS Jr.); Rob Dooley (6-1, 190, RS Fr.); Su’a Cravens (6-3, 215, Fr.)
Wright lined up as the starter at free safety on both Tuesday and Thursday, despite a tweet earlier in the week that indicated that he would require surgery on his hip. Su’a Cravens, Gerald Bowman and Dion Bailey – who will likely move over from linebacker – could change the look of this unit dramatically when they return from injury in the fall.

Cornerback
Right corner
Kevon Seymour (6-0, 170, So.); Ryan Henderson (5-10, 170, RS So.) OR Devian Shelton (6-2, 185, RS Fr.)

Left corner
Anthony Brown (5-9, 180, RS Jr.); Chris Hawkins (6-0, 170, Fr.); Torin Harris (6-0, 190, RS Sr.)
Seymour returned to the starting lineup to pair with Brown on Thursday. As a whole, however, Kiffin has expressed concern with the production of this group, and he’s opened up the possibility of moving Shaw back over to corner from his safety spot in 2013. And on Thursday, the USC coach revealed he has even thought about moving Lee or Agholor over at times in the fall, although he’s not completely sold on the idea.

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

Punter
Kris Albarado (5-10, 200, RS So.)
Heidari and Albarado are still the likely starters here.