Steve Sarkisian released his first depth chart as head coach of USC as the Trojans prepare for Saturday’s spring game.
As Sarkisian indicated Tuesday, Cody Kessler is his starting quarterback.
Aside from the very substantial list of injured players who were left off the two-deep, the highlights of some big spring battles include a settled offensive line of Chad Wheeler, Toa Lobendahn, Max Tuerk, Khaliel Rodgers, and Zach Banner.
Tuerk looks set to anchor the line at center, while spring starters at left and right guard Lobendahn and Rodgers will have to hold off the injured Jordan Simmons and returning starter Aundrey Walker, as well as incoming freshmen like Damien Mama in the fall to keep their places. Banner could also face a challenge from Walker or the injured Nico Falah going forward.
In unsurprising news, Javorius Allen and Tre Madden share the starting place for now over Ty Isaac. Justin Davis will look to get in on the action at running back when he returns from an achilles injury.
On the defensive side of the ball, Claude Pelon has claimed the starting defensive tackle spot in Leonard Williams‘ absence due to injury. Texas A&M transfer Delvon Simmons earned the top spot at defensive end, while Anthony Sarao owns the weakside linebacker position for the time being. Lamar Dawson will challenge Sarao when he returns from injury.
Meanwhile, there are two major positions with unsettled battles. At strongside linebacker, Jabari Ruffin and Quinton Powell are deadlocked. J.R. Tavai and Scott Starr are similarly neck and neck at rush end.
On special teams, Andre Heidari has maintained his place as the starting kicker despite his struggles in 2013.
Giovanni Di Poalo
Javorius Allen OR Tre Madden
James Toland IV
Greg Townsend Jr.
Jabari Ruffin OR Quinton Powell
J.R. Tavai OR Scott Starr
Leon McQuay III