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USC football: Depth chart offers few surprises

April 16, 2012|By Gary Klein
  • Starting quarterback Matt Barkley hands off to backup running D.J. Morgan during USC's final spring scrimmage Saturday at the L.A. Coliseum.
Starting quarterback Matt Barkley hands off to backup running D.J. Morgan… (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)

There were no big surprises when USC Coach Lane Kiffin released an end-of-spring depth chart Monday.

Kiffin, in fact, brushed off its importance.

“That really doesn’t mean very much,” he said.

Still, the chart does offer some insight into where the roster stands heading into summer. The Trojans begin training camp in August in preparation for their Sept. 1 opener against Hawaii.

Matt Barkley, of course, is the starting quarterback. Max Wittek and Cody Kessler are listed as co-backups.

Third-year sophomore Jesse Scroggins, who sat out most of spring practice because of a hip injury, is listed behind the redshirt freshmen.

Kiffin said Scroggins continues to work through academic issues that could affect his eligibility.

“Jesse’s got a long two weeks here,” Kiffin said. “He’s got to dig himself out of a hole.”

Sophomore Aundrey Walker is the heir apparent to Matt Kalil at left tackle.

The 6-foot-6, 325-pound Walker started training camp at right tackle. But he was moved to the left side after a week and is on track to protect Barkley’s blindside. Junior Kevin Graf, who began training camp at left tackle, returns to the right side, where he started every game in 2011.

“It just makes too much sense to leave Kevin where he’s got 12 games under his belt,” Kiffin said. “Aundrey’s length is so unique. That obviously helps you a lot on the left side, and he has a very high ceiling.

“So it’s exciting at times — you see some plays that look like first-rounders do. He’s got that type of ability.”

Tailback depth and defensive tackle remain concerns.

Curtis McNeal is the starting tailback, D.J. Morgan the backup. Incoming freshman Nelson Agholor is listed as a receiver and tailback.

Sophomore J.R. Tavai is listed as the starting nose tackle next to George Uko. But Kiffin said Antwaun Woods also is in the mix at nose tackle.

Senior Jawanza Starling and junior Demetrius Wright are battling for a safety spot opposite All-American T.J. McDonald.

Isiah Wiley started the last six games at one cornerback spot in 2011, but Brian Baucham, who was academically ineligible last season, and injured Torin Harris are also listed as possible starters at the position.

Kyle Negrete, the punter last season, is listed as a co-starter with redshirt freshman Kris Albarado. Kiffin said there could be a possibility that Negrete would handle short punts, Albarado longer kicks.

Here’s the depth chart with starters in bold and incoming players in parentheses:

LT
Aundrey Walker
Nathan Guertler
Chad Wheeler

LG
Marcus Martin
Cyrus Hobbi
Erick Jepsen
(Max Tuerk)

C
Khaled Holmes

Abe Markowitz
Giovanni De Poalo

RG
John Martinez

Jeremy Galten
John Katnik
(Jordan Simmons)

RT
Kevin Graf
David Garness
(Zach Banner)

TE
Randall Telfer OR Xavier Grimble

Christian Thomas OR Junior Pomee
(Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick)

QB
Matt Barkley
Max Wittek OR Cody Kessler
Jesse Scroggins
John Manoogian OR Emon Saee OR Anthony Neyer

FB
Soma Vainuku
Hunter Simmons
Chandler Larsen
(Jahleel Pinner)

TB
Curtis McNeal
D.J. Morgan
Javorious Allen
Taylor Ross OR
Alec Jaffe OR
John Akiba
Tre Madden
(Nelson Agholor)

FL
Robert Woods
De’Von Flournoy
Cody Skene
(Nelson Agholor)

SE
Marqise Lee
George Farmer
Victor Blackwell
Troy Cardona
Spencer Darlin
(Darreus Rogers)


DE
Devon Kennard
Greg Townsend Jr.
Charles Burks
DeVante Wilson
Michael Arakelian


NT
J.R. Tavai
Antwaun Woods
Cody Temple

DT
George Uko
Zack Kusnir
Christian Heyward
Yonatan Aviv


DE
Wes Horton
Morgan Breslin OR Kevin Greene
(Leonard Williams)


SLB
Dion Bailey
Tony Burnett
Marquis Simmons
Kyle Yatabe
Luke Freeman

MLB
Lamar Dawson

Scott Starr
Will Andrew
Dallas Kelley
(Jabari Ruffin)

WLB
Hayes Pullard
Anthony Sarao
Doug Scott

CB
Nickell Robey
Anthony Brown
Ryan Henderson
(Kevon Seymour)

FS
T.J. McDonald
Drew McAllister
Josh Shaw
John Auran

SS
Jawanza Starling OR Demetrius Wright
Luis Nevarez
(Gerald Bowman)

CB
Isiah Wiley OR Brian Baucham OR Torin Harris

William Tober
(Devian Shelton)

SPECIAL TEAMS
P
Kyle Negrete OR Kris Albarado

PK
Andre Heidari

Craig McMahon

SNP
Peter McBride

HLD
Matt Barkley
Cody Kessler

KOR
Robert Woods AND Curtis McNeal OR Marqise Lee
George Farmer OR Nickell Robey

PR
Nickell Robey OR Robert Woods

Marqise Lee

RELATED:

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USC's Josh Shaw is granted hardship waiver from NCAA

Max Browne joins long list of USC recruits aiming to enroll early 

USC football: Depth chart offers few surprises

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