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USC Football Depth Chart 2017: Projecting the Post-Spring Starting Lineup

Marlon Tuipulotu during USC football practice at the LA Coliseum. (Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy)
Marlon Tuipulotu during USC football practice at the LA Coliseum. (Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy) /
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Sam Darnold during USC football practice at Howard Jones Field. (Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy)
Sam Darnold during USC football practice at Howard Jones Field. (Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy) /

As USC football spring camp nears its conclusion, here’s a look at how we predict the Trojan depth chart will shake out heading into the summer.

The highlight of USC football spring camp is always getting the first hints of how the Trojan depth chart will take form ahead of the season.

Battles are waged –some won, most not– and players in the shadows from the previous season get their shot to rise to the top.

Before head coach Clay Helton releases a new depth chart, here’s how we think the lineup will shake out following spring camp:

Quarterback

Projected Starter: #4 Sam Darnold, RS-So. Back Up:  #19 Matt Fink, RS-Fr. Likely Redshirt: #13 Jack Sears, Fr.

While there might not have been intrigue at the top of the quarterback depth chart this spring, the midyear arrival of four-star quarterback Jack Sears offered the possibility of a battle to be the back up.

Sears needed time to settle in, as most freshmen do, but once he did, he showed off flashes of ability. Undoubtedly raw, the San Clemente product has wheels and an arm to make some tough throws.

However, the steady improvement of redshirt freshman Matt Fink seems to have nixed the idea that Sears could work his way into the back up role at this point.

Just as USC protected the redshirt year of Fink in 2016, the Trojans have incentive to do the same for Sears this year.

Beyond that, Fink’s performance this spring has solidified his place behind Darnold. His grasp of the offense has grown, his confidence bloomed and he’s shown an ability to make plays with both his feet and his arm.

Sears may yet make a push when fall camp comes around. For now, the quarterback pecking order feels settled.

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