Defensive lineman Jacob Daniel saw reps on offense during USC Football player-run practices on Thursday, as did cornerback Jack Jones.
Player-run practices always seem to include someone swapping positions. During USC Football’s Thursday PRP, it was defensive lineman Jacob Daniel making a change with reps at right guard on the offensive line, per Shotgun Spratling of USCFootball.com.
Daniel, entering his junior season at USC, has served as a back up defensive tackle for the Trojans for two years but has never reached the levels hoped for considering his four-star status coming out of high school.
All told, Daniel has appeared in 11 games and has logged nine tackles and a deflection as a Trojan.
While it’s easy to understand why Daniel would make the move to offense, considering how low in the defensive line pecking order he appears, playing time on the other side of the ball may be in short supply as well.
Though USC is replacing three starters on the offensive line, there are more-experienced lineman, as well as exciting young prospects, competing for those places. In fact, in a practical sense, it’s more accurate to say that USC has just one starting job truly up for grabs. Chuma Edoga appears to be the heir apparent at one of the tackle spots while Toa Lobendahn is set to return to the starting lineup once fully recovered from last year’s season-ending injury.
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With Viane Talamaivao certain to return to his starting place at right guard, if Daniel makes a run at starting it’ll be at the left guard position, where he’ll be competing with Chris Brown, Roy Hemsley and others.
USC has tried position swaps in the past with varying success.
Offensive lineman Khaliel Rodgers made the switch to defense in 2016 to help with depth concerns, but injuries forced him back over to offense before he made an impact.
In 2012, Tre Madden swapped his linebacker role to play running back. A season-ending injury delayed his RB debut until 2013, but he went on to start 12 times on offense, averaging 5.2 yards per carry and rushing for 1,155 yards in his injury-plagued career.
Also of note from Thursday’s PRP, cornerback Jack Jones may not be switching positions completely, but he apparently took snaps on offense.
Like Adoree’ Jackson before him, Jones’ ability with the ball in his hands is mouthwatering enough to warrant a look on offense.
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The question is whether Jones will take over Jackson’s role entirely and if that role will look more like Jackon’s heavy involvement in 2015 or his more limited participation of 2016.