What Steve Tu’ikolovatu’s Transfer Means and More USC Football News

Nov 7, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Utah Utes defensive tackle Stevie Tu
Nov 7, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Utah Utes defensive tackle Stevie Tu /

What does the transfer of Steve Tu’ikolovatu mean for USC football in 2016? Plus Trojan news from around the web.

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

1st & 10:

First Take… USC 1, Alabama 0…at least as it pertains to offseason graduate transfer targets.

The Trojans landed a major victory in the war against Alabama when Utah defensive lineman Steve Tu’ikolovatu announced on Twitter that he was set to Fight On! in 2016.

Why is the transfer win so huge? Since the Crimson Tide were also after the defensive tackle, the Trojans denied a reinforcement to Nick Saban’s defensive front.

Most importantly, they secured a valuable piece in their own attempt to match up with Alabama in the trenches come September 3.

SEE ALSO: Ranking USC’s 2016 Opponents By Threat Level

While USC’s defensive line will remain one of the biggest question marks hovering over this season, the addition of a two-year contributor from a Pac-12 program turns the conversation from a dire problem to a standard-level concern

Depth on the defensive line had gotten so bad following Kenny Bigelow’s season-ending knee injury that the format for the Spring Game was limited because of the lack of bodies in the trenches.

Promising offensive tackle Chuma Edoga has worked on the defensive side of the ball during player-run summer practices as well.

With the single addition of Tu’ikolovatu, USC’s front takes a more definitive shape.

Finding someone to reliably anchor the line at tackle is less of a boom or bust proposition revolving around Noah Jefferson.

TRENDING: 5 Best D1 Transfers in USC Football History

Junior college transfer Josh Fatu’s role can focus more on taking advantage of his versatility rather than forcing him in at tackle by necessity.

The development of Jacob Daniel and Kevin Scott can be treated with a touch more patience, for a year at least.

Logistically there’s another, meaningless but intriguing, implication to Tu’ikolovatu’s presence: What number is he going to wear?

The former Ute wore No. 90 last year, but incoming freshman Connor Murphy was assigned that number on USC’s updated 2016 roster.

All but two numbers in the 90s are currently filled, with 96 and 97 the only vacancies, so Tu’ikolovatu’s choices are limited.

He could do worse than No. 96, the jersey worn by most notably by Darrell Russell and Lawrence Jackson. But that’s just a suggestion.

And Ten USC Football and Basketball News Links…

  1. “USC’s Mount Rushmore: Top all-time NFL players from USC” (NFL.com)Jim Reineking picked Ronnie Lott, Anthony Munoz, Bruce Matthews and Marcus Allen as USC’s NFL mount Rushmore representatives. Also considered: Frank Gifford, Troy Polamalu, Junior Seau, O.J. Simpson, Lynn Swann and Willie Wood
  2. “25 Best Overall Position Groups for 2016” (Bleacher Report)USC’s offensive line is considered one of the top 25 position groups for this season by David Kenyon. The Trojans return more starters than there are positions available.
  3. “How soccer relegation makes deciding CFB champ easier” (CBS Sports)Tom Fornelli’s new take on a relegation system for college football can’t be explained briefly, but it’s an interesting and different ideal on reorganizing the system. From a USC perspective though, his plan would put the Trojans in the equivalent of a second tier (based on win percentage over the last five years).
  4. “Every conference should scrap divisions. Here’s the plan” (SBNation)Another realignment plan that’s too complicated to be condensed completely comes from SBNation, but this one would have the Pac-12 split into three regional pods — California, Pacific Northwest and Mountain.
  5. “Adoree Jackson Update” (Inside USC)Scott Wolf clarifies that Adoree’ Jackson will be able to compete at the Olympic Trials but he still has to hit a qualifying standard while there if he wants to make the Olympic team. Either way, he’s not coming back to football until mid-July.
  6. “4-Star TE Tyler Johnson Names Top 14” (Reign Of Troy)Arizona tight end prospect Tyler Johnson named a top 14 packed with Pac-12 teams including USC, but experts project him to land at Michigan State.
  7. “In Photos: Every School’s Most Famous Celebrity Fan” (College Spun)Snoop Dogg wins the day as USC’s most famous celebrity fan, though there were plenty to choose from.
  8. “Anderson: People forget Mark Sanchez’s past success” (NFL.com)Checking in on some news from NFL OTAs, Broncos running back C.J. Anderson came to Mark Sanchez’s defense pointing out his two appearances in AFC Championship games and the strong receiving corps Denver has as reasons he could be successful.
  9. “Su’a Cravens, Kendall Fuller showed instincts” (ESPN)Now that OTAs are over, Su’a Cravens’ role in the Washington defense comes into focus. He was praised for instincts and projected at nickel/dime linebacker by John Keim.
  10. “Men’s Basketball Season Tickets” (RipsIt Blog)Men’s basketball season tickets are now on sale with prices ranging from $180 to $375.

Stat of the Day:

Steve Tu’ikolovatu had four tackles, including one for loss, against USC in 2015.

Social Media Snapshot: