Trojans Must Find Way to Juggle Linebackers and More USC Football News


Can’t get enough USC football? We’ve got your morning dose of all the best content from around the web concerning the men of Troy.

1st & 10:

First Take…Steve Sarkisian’s USC Trojans just brought in arguably the most critically acclaimed recruiting class since Pete Carroll left for the NFL, highlighted by four linebackers, three of which earned five-star ratings.

Looking into the future, it’s easy to pencil Osa Masina, Porter Gustin, John Houston and Cam Smith into the starting lineup at some point, as they all could slot into different linebacker positions.

RELATED: Six Trojans Who Could Win Awards In 2015

Apr 19, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California outside linebacker Jabari Ruffin (40) during the Southern California Spring Game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

But that isn’t stopping Troy from looking for more, nor is it taking into account the underclassmen already on the roster like Olajuwon Tucker.

On Sunday, four-star outside linebacker Darrian Franklin out of Downey, Calif. told Gerard Martinez of that the Trojans are currently the favorite to land his signature in 2016.

Franklin is ranked as the 169th ranked recruit in the 2016 247Sports Composite, and the ninth best outside linebacker in the nation by Rivals.

Currently, USC has 13 linebackers on the roster if you include Uchenna Nwosu, and already have a pair committed to the 2016 class in the form of Daelin Hayes and Mique Juarez.

Is that too many linebackers?

The Trojans will lose Anthony Sarao, Lamar Dawson and Charles Burks after 2015, with Scott Felix, Jabari Ruffin and Su’a Cravens eligible to leave as well.

Still, the 2016 linebackers could be three-deep at each position with several highly-touted players getting the short end of the stick.

With so many players vying for playing time, Steve Sarkisian and linebacker coach Peter Sirmon will need to prove as adept handling egos as they are at stockpiling talent in recruiting.

In other news…

  1. USC baseball got their season underway this past weekend, sweeping Towson in a three-game series at Dedeaux Field with a hard-fought win on Sunday. (
  2. For a full, comprehensive look at the Trojans going into this season, Shotgun Spratling has a season preview over at Scout. (
  3. Speaking of Trojans that got in the win column this weekend, add men’s basketball to the list. Andy Enfield’s team snapped a nine-game losing streak with a big 13-point win over the Oregon State Beavers. (Neon Tommy)
  4. The Beavs not only had to deal with the fact that they lost to the worst team in the Pac-12, but they couldn’t fly out of LAX immediate because there was a…wait for it…an angry scorpion on their plane. Really. (ESPN)
  5. More on basketball, former USC head coach George Raveling was elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame this weekend. Under his tutelage, the Trojans twice made the NCAA tournament and finished with a 15-3 conference record in 1992. (The Rips It Blog)
  6. Sticking to tournaments, Bleacher Report has USC football as one of 10 teams that “actually has a chance to win the college football playoff”. (Bleacher Report)
  7. One reason B/R sees the Trojans getting to the CFP is how the schedule plays out, starting with Sun Belt teams Arkansas State and Idaho. (Bleacher Report)
  8. As for Idaho, college football guru and SB Nation analyst Bill Connelly previewed the Vandals last week as part of his 128-team countdown. They just might be the lowest ranked USC opponent ever. (SB Nation)
  9. Johnny Curren over ESPN has a look at who the Trojans could be targeting on the defensive side of the 2016 recruiting class. (ESPN)
  10. The NFL Combine starts this week, which means all eyes are on Josh Shaw. (Reign of Troy)

Stat of the Day:

Idaho comes into the Coliseum this September with a five-year recruiting class average of 124th in the nation, to face USC’s No. 1 recruiting class in the country. (via SB Nation)

Tweet of the Day:

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