USC Trojans: Chans Cox


The Pac-12 has 26 of the 98 early entrants in the NFL draft. That’s impressive. Some players are locks to get drafted. Others might have jumped the gun a bit and find themselves on practice squads or brushing up on their Canadian. We’ll see.

What we’re more concerned about here is who is going to replace them. Some answers are clearer than others. Some teams might have to alter their schemes just to account for a departed player.

Here’s a look at the possible replacement players in the Pac-12 South. We’ll look at the North later this morning.

Leaving: Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona.

The replacement: Jared Baker should be in the mix, though an injury will keep him out of spring ball. He’s expected to return in time for fall camp. Pierre Cormier and Zach Green will also get looks. Speaking with folks at Arizona, the word right now is that it’s wide open. One player could emerge, or it could end up being a by-committee approach. Nothing is off the table at this point.

Leaving: Carl Bradford, LB, Arizona State

The replacement: There really isn’t anyone who has Bradford’s skill set in the program yet, so the position is wide open. Viliami Latu has potential. So does Chans Cox, who was hurt a lot last season. They are also excited about incoming freshman Ismael Murphy-Richardson. He might not be ready to jump in immediately, but he could be the Devil backer by 2015.

[+] EnlargeRichardson
Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY SportsColorado will have a hard time replacing the explosive plays that Paul Richardson provided.
Leaving: Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado

The replacement: It was probably going to be Jeff Thomas before he transferred. Now it’s probably going to be a rotation of D.D. Goodson, Devin Ross, or redshirt freshmen Bryce Bobo or Elijah Dunston. Nelson Spruce has been solid, but he’s not the breakaway threat Richardson was. This will be a key spring battle to watch.

Leaving: Xavier Su'a-Filo, OL, UCLA

The replacement: Simon Goines should be back after starting six games at left tackle before an injury forced him out. Scott Quessenberry stepped in and played five games at left guard, which is where he’ll likely be next season with Goines back at tackle.

Leaving: Dion Bailey, LB, USC

The replacement: Leon McQuay III saw some playing time and is very highly regarded by the coaching staff. His contributions last season were mostly on special teams, but he’ll take on a larger role with Bailey’s departure.

Leaving: Marqise Lee, WR, USC

The replacement: Remember George Farmer? He’s still around and could be in for a big season if healthy. Darreus Rogers and Steven Mitchell both are promising, but both have missed time with injury. You never truly replace a Biletnikoff winner, but playing opposite a surging Nelson Agholor could help boost the production of whoever gets in the regular rotation.

Leaving: George Uko, DT, USC

The replacement: Transfer Delvon Simmons is coming off a redshirt season, as is freshman Kenny Bigelow. Both should get some serious looks, as this will be one of the hot position battles this spring. Someone will ultimately win the job, but expect a rotation with both next season.

Leaving: Marcus Martin, C, USC

The replacement: Lots of ifs here. It could be Max Tuerk moving over from guard, but he’ll also be in the mix for right tackle to replace Kevin Graf. Khaliel Rodgers redshirted and is an option at guard or center. Giovanni Di Poalo could also get a look.

Leaving: Xavier Grimble, TE, USC

The replacement: Grimble and Randall Telfer were basically co-starters, so all this probably means is Telfer’s workload increases as he becomes the clear No. 1. Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick is the only other scholarship tight end on the roster.

Leaving: Jake Murphy, TE, Utah

The replacement: Westlee Tonga seems like the logical fit. He has been around for a few years and has some experience, but was injured most of last year. He’ll get another opportunity to be the lead tight end in the newest installment of Utah’s offense.

WeAreSC mailbag 

May, 18, 2012
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Kenny BigelowScott Fink/ESPNHSUSC has had a hard time in recent classes holding on to its top commit. Will Elkton, Md., defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow buck that trend?

WeAreSC recruiting editor Erik McKinney answers reader questions in his mailbag every Friday. Have a USC recruiting question of your own? Submit it here.

Chris Madrid (Santa Ana, Calif. ): Hello Erik, Kenny Bigelow is as close to a must get as USC has ever had because he has potential to step right in and start and instantly improves the lack of depth currently at the DT position. My concern is USC has had a recent history of losing the top player in each recruiting cycle. (De'Anthony Thomas, Arik Armstead, Seantrel Henderson). My two-part question is how solid of a commit is he? Does his participation in showcases help or hurt this recruitment?

Coaches checking in on Chans 

April, 26, 2012
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Chans Cox (Pinetop, Ariz./Blue Ridge) is one of the more versatile athletes on the West Coast in the class of 2013. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound two-way standout is at home at linebacker or running back. He excels enough on both sides of the ball that college coaches are split on where they see him fitting best.

Cox said while most schools among his 15 scholarship offers see him fitting better on defense, USC and Nebraska are two schools that see him as an offensive player. But he said playing on one side or the other won't affect his decision.

"I love both sides of the ball," Cox said. "If I went to a school to play offense, those coaches would coach me up and make me a good player there, and the same would be true of defense."

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Trojans offer Arizona athlete 

April, 12, 2012
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Two-way standout Chans Cox (Lakeside, Ariz./Blue Ridge) added another scholarship offer to his list on Thursday, as the USC Trojans became the latest program to extend one to the 6-foot-2, 225-pound athlete.

"I was really surprised," Cox said of the offer from USC. "I haven't made any top lists of schools yet, but they will definitely fall into that top category."

Cox is familiar with the USC staff, as he attended their junior day in early February. While there were hundreds of people on campus, Cox said the coaches make a point to single him out and put in some one-on-one time.

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