The USC Trojans lost their second man to a knee ligament injury on Sunday, as the school announced that strongside outside linebacker Jabari Ruffin tore an ACL and will miss the entire 2014 season.
As mentioned in a release on The Ripsit Blog, Ruffin was injured during an interception return in Sunday morning’s practice session on Howard Jones Field.
Ruffin played in 13 games as a redshirt freshman in 2013, compiling 22 total tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery.Going into fall camp, Ruffin was listed as the starting SAM linebacker and was looking to be a benefactor of the shift to a hybrid 3-4 defense.
Now, that all changes, as Quinton Powell moves up the depth chart.
True freshman Uchenna Nwosu was listed before camp as the third SAM linebacker, but it would not be surprising if Lamar Dawson or Michael Hutchings move over from weakside and middle linebacker respectively, in addition to J.R. Tavai from rush end.
With the various packages in the hybrid 3-4 that Justin Wilcox deploys, expect a variety of looks that will shuffle the deck at linebacker.
Ruffin redshirted as a true freshman in 2012, and will have two years of eligibility left when he returns in 2015.