Even as USC football news continues to key in on the absence of sophomore tight end Bryce Dixon, the other Trojan tight ends made both positive and negative headlines after Saturday’s practice.
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On the negative side, redshirt junior tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick has put in too many lukewarm performances this spring, according to Steve Sarkisian.
The head coach called out his veteran tight end, who missed 2014 because of academic ineligibility and remains USC’s strongest candidate to replace Randall Telfer, saying he needs to see more from him during week two.
“I think for Jalen it has taken a little bit of time to get back into the flow of things,” Sarkisian said. “Jalen has been ok for three practices, hopefully we can get him to improve for the next three.”
That Bryce Dixon remained out of the action Saturday piles even more pressure on Cope-Fitzpatrick to prove he can be relied on the carry the load this spring.
Should Cope-Fitzpatrick fail to take advantage, there appears to be an increasing possibility that Spears could be a major threat for playing time.
Cope-Fitzpatrick has a sizable experience advantage with 23 appearances for USC, but he and Spears share the same number of career catches — three.
Connor Spears, the walk-on transfer from Columbia, earned praise for his performance on day three of spring camp.
The sophomore helped the offense win the five-play battle at the end of practice with a long touchdown catch.
Observers noted he was one of the standouts of the day:
No doubt, tight end will remain one of the top positions to watch for USC this spring.