USC football was dealt a setback on Wednesday, with the news that freshman running back Vavae Malepeai would be out six to eight weeks with a broken shoulder blade.
Head coach Clay Helton announced the news of the broken scapula during his daily press conference following Wednesday’s sixth day of fall camp.
Malepeai, a true freshman, signed with the Trojans during February’s Signing Day, after having been committed to the Oregon Ducks.
He was ranked as the 220th overall recruit in the 2016 recruiting class’s 247Sports Composite, and the eighth-best running back.
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Through his first few days of fall camp, Malepeai had turned heads. With a quick, yet physical pin-balling running style, he had emerged as a potential breakout star despite being the freshman in a crop of highly talented backs.
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He saw an uptick in reps with the second team as the first week went on, and looked to be a compliment to starters Justin Davis and Ronald Jones much in the same vain as change-of-pace back Dominic Davis.
With the timetable given by Helton, Malepeai is likely to miss much –if not all– of the Trojans’ treacherous September featuring Alabama and Stanford.
USC’s early October slate features the likes of manageable home games against ASU and Colorado, though the injury could make him a candidate to redshirt.