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Friday, March 29, 2013
Week Three: Spring depth chart

By Johnny Curren

After a week away from action, the Trojans hit Brian Kennedy-Howard Jones Field on Tuesday as the spring slate of practices officially picked back up again. With a number of players coming off injuries trickling back into the rotation, not to mention some interesting position changes, there was plenty of movement up and down the lineup.

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

Wittek stepped back into the rotation on Tuesday after missing three practices due to a sprained MCL, and while he showed some rust, USC coach Lane Kiffin is optimistic he’ll soon return to his old form, making this competition one to watch once again. Of the trio, Kessler continued to be the most consistent this week, with Browne showing promise at times.
D.J. Morgan (5-10, 190, RS Jr.) OR Tre Madden (6-1, 220, RS So.) OR Javorius Allen (6-1, 210, RS So.) OR Justin Davis (6-1, 215, Fr.); Silas Redd (5-10, 200, Sr.);

With Redd out for the remainder of the spring after knee surgery, it’s been Morgan, Allen and Davis who have been shouldering the load at tailback, with a dose of Madden -- although he’s still not cleared for full-contact drills. Davis was particularly impressive on Thursday, breaking off two long runs during the team's 11-on-11 session.

USC's George Farmer made little impact during his freshman season.
George Farmer hopes to move up the depth chart with a strong spring.
Jahleel Pinner (5-11, 225, So.); Simione Vehikite (5-11, 225, RS Sr.); Soma Vainuku (6-0, 250, RS. So.);

The fullback unit took a major hit when Kiffin revealed that Vainuku will not return this spring after injuring his knee in the team’s prior scrimmage. In his absence, Pinner has moved into the starting lineup, while Vehikite made the switch over from inside linebacker to provide some relief and add depth.

Wide Receiver

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

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

Agholor continues to shine day in and day out, and as a unit, this group is performing on a very high level, even without the services of Lee. Farmer has also asserted himself more as of late, making a couple of highlight grabs on Thursday.

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

Kiffin announced on Thursday that Grimble is out for the rest of the spring with a chest fracture. As such, Telfer and Cope-Fitzpatrick will continue to split reps at the position.
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.) OR Marcus Martin (6-3, 325, Jr.); Giovanni Di Poalo (6-4, 280, RS Jr.);

Marcus Martin (6-3, 325, Jr.) OR Max Tuerk (6-6, 285, So.); 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.)

The big news here has been the move of Martin over to center where he ran with the first unit, looking surprisingly comfortable. Tuerk now finds himself lining up primarily at left guard, the position he started at in the 2012 Hyundai Sun Bowl, but he certainly still factors into the competition at center. With Wheeler now officially out for the spring with a knee injury, Walker looks to have a firm hold on the left tackle spot for now.

Defensive Line
DE No. 1

Leonard Williams (6-5, 270, So.); J.R. Tavai (6-2, 265, Jr.); Charles Burks (6-0, 230, RS So.)

Lamar Dawson
Lamar Dawson is in a close battle with Anthony Sarao for the starting WILL linebacker spot.
DE No. 2
George Uko (6-3, 275, RS Jr.); Cody Temple (6-3, 285, RS So.); Julian Coleman (6-2, 240, RS Sr.)

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.)

The defensive line received some much-needed reinforcements this week in the form of Tavai and Temple, who are providing depth at defensive end. As a whole, Ed Orgeron's group continues to shine this spring as a disruptive force in Clancy Pendergast's attacking 5-2 defensive scheme.

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.)

The competition at the WILL linebacker spot keeps heating up, with both Sarao and Dawson starring in practice. For the first time this spring, in fact, Dawson has begun to take some reps with the first unit and capitalizing on the opportunity, making this battle too close to call. On the other side, Pullard has been as steady as ever.

Free Safety

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

Demetrius Wright
Senior Demetrius Wright is providing veteran leadership in a safety group that includes early-entrant freshmen Su'a Cravens and Leon McQuay III.
Strong Safety
Josh Shaw (6-1, 190, RS Jr.); Su’a Cravens (6-3, 215, Fr.)

Shaw and Wright perform and lead like the veterans they are. Cravens and McQuay, meanwhile, continue to play well beyond their years.

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
Chris Hawkins (6-0, 170, Fr.) OR Torin Harris (6-0, 190, RS Sr.); Kevon Seymour (6-0, 170, So.);
Devian Shelton (6-2, 185, RS Fr.)

With Seymour still sidelined, it was the early-entrant freshman Hawkins lining up with the first team defense this week. And on Tuesday, Harris was stellar, having perhaps his finest practice so far.

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

Kris Albarado (5-10, 200, RS So.)

Heidari and Albarado look to have these spots pinned down at the moment.