Mar 11, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick (88) at spring practice at Howard Jones Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

USC TE Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick Ruled Academically Ineligible for 2014

USC’s first fall camp under Steve Sarkisian began at Howard Jones Field on Monday evening, and already the Trojans have their second casualty of 2014.

Joining Kenny Bigelow on the list of Trojans to miss the season is junior tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick. Sarkisian announced after Monday’s practice that he was ruled academically ineligible.

Cope-Fitzpatrick was expected to play a major role with the Trojans in his third year on campus. He was listed as a co-starter at tight end on the pre-fall camp depth chart alongside senior Randall Telfer.

It’s an enormous loss for the Trojans due to a lack of depth at tight end.

Without Cope-Fitzpatrick, USC now has just two scholarship players at the position, with Telfer and incoming true freshman Bryce Dixon. Walk-on transfer Chris Willson caught one pass last year, and should now see significant time as a blocking option in the tight end rotation.

In January, would-be senior Xavier Grimble announced his intentions to forgo his final year of college ball and enter the 2014 NFL Draft.

Cope-Fitzpatrick played in 10 games as a sophomore in 2013, catching just one pass. He has three career receptions, but saw plenty of first team action in the middle of last season when Grimble and Telfer went down with separate injuries.

Per WeAreSC.com, Cope-Fitzpatrick will still be around Howard Jones, as he’ll be able to practice with the Trojans.

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