March 11th marks the start of USC spring practice, a time when slates are swept clean and position battles begin anew. Steve Sarkisian and his new staff will get their first real look at the 2014 squad, which means Trojan fans also have a chance to start fresh evaluating the players who will make or break the new season.
This week at Reign Of Troy we’re taking a look at what to expect from each position group, now onto the cornerbacks:
Seniors – Anthony Brown (RS)
Juniors – Ryan Henderson (RS), Kevon Seymour
Sophomores – Devian Shelton (RS)
Freshmen – Chris Hawkins (RS)
Incoming – Adoree’ Jackson, Jonathan Lockett, John Plattenburg, Lamont Simmons
USC’s 2014 recruiting class was laden with defensive backs, but they’ll have to wait their turn as others battle it out for key positions in the Trojan secondary this spring.
Kevon Seymour is the standout of this group with a season of starts under his belt already. He finished the year on a high, earning defensive player of the game honors in the Trojan’s Vegas Bowl victory. However, he’ll need to prove that he can continue that level on a consistent basis.
The battle this spring will be for the starting spot opposite Seymour.
Until reinforcements arrive, safety Josh Shaw may still be expected to fill that role. After all, he started 11 games at corner in 2013.
However, Shaw’s status at corner really depends on the three available challengers: Anthony Brown, Devian Shelton and Chris Hawkins.
Brown owns the experience card between the three with six career starts on his resume. Unfortunately his injury troubles have limited his career — ankle injuries in 2011 and 2013 held him out for most of those season. As a redshirt senior, this is his last chance to make his mark at USC.
Shelton has shown promise as a back up but the foot injury which sidelined him in 2013 will also limit his participation in the spring.
Hawkins redshirted as a freshman but the general consensus is it’s only a matter of time before a breaks onto the scene. A four-star coming out of high school, Hawkins has enough talent to grab hold of a starting spot, if not the experience.
Most Likely To Keep Their Starting Job: Kevon Seymour
Most Likely To Lose Their Starting Job: Josh Shaw
Most To Gain From Spring: Chris Hawkins
Most To Lose From Spring: Devian Shelton
More position previews: