Projected starting tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick remains academically ineligible this summer, according to Michael Lev of the OC Register, leaving USC football with even more doubts at the position heading into the fall.
Cope-Fitzpatrick sat out the entirety of the 2014 season due to academic issues. Though head coach Steve Sarkisian indicated to Lev that the tight end is expected to be ready to go by fall camp, his status is a concern.
With a history of failing to get above board academically, putting trust in Cope-Fitzpatrick’s ability to do so this time could have a troublesome impact on USC’s preparation for the season.
Heading into 2015, the Trojans are set to rely on the redshirt junior as the top tight end due to the departure of Randall Telfer. Bryce Dixon’s dismissal over a student-conduct issue makes the situation even more dire.
By the end of spring camp, Cope-Fitzpatrick maintained the No. 1 spot on the depth chart, but he was the only scholarship player available. Walk-on Columbia transfer Connor Spears held down the No. 2 spot with a strong spring.
Taylor McNamara, a transfer from Oklahoma, will arrive this fall to give USC additional depth, along with incoming freshman Tyler Petite.
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