Several USC Football players posted pictures of themselves in full uniform on social media this week, giving hints at freshman jersey numbers.
You know the offseason has officially morphed into the preseason when it’s time for teams to shoot promotional pictures and videos, which is exactly what USC Football players have been up to this week.
The Trojans suited up in full uniform to take pictures for “USC Social Media Days,” prepping for all the promotional materials that will be used on social media and elsewhere this coming season.
Some players shared their own behind the scenes pictures and videos from the day, including both familiar and new faces. For the latter, their jersey numbers are of particular interest.
Redshirt sophomore safety Ykili Ross posed with redshirt junior cornerback Ajene Harris.
Sophomore cornerback-receiver Keyshawn “Pie” Young looked forward to Year 2 at USC.
Redshirt freshman safety C.J. Pollard echoed those sentiments.
Now here’s where it gets interesting.
Freshman cornerback-receiver Greg Johnson posted a video of himself wearing the No. 9 jersey.
So did freshman receiver Randal Grimes.
Does that mean Johnson is locked into playing defense while Grimes will take over JuJu Smith-Schuster’s old number? It’s possible, but not guaranteed.
Last year videos emerged of Adoree’ Jackson wearing the No. 21 jersey but the cornerback-receiver-return man ultimately stuck with his No. 2 jersey when the season arrived.
Still, the numbers freshmen put on for the photoshoot could indeed be their intended numbers.
UPDATE: Case in point, sophomore cornerback Jack Jones, who wore No. 1 in 2016, was snapped wearing No. 25.
If Jones intended to make a permanent move to No. 25, he could as it is currently unoccupied on defense. However, his ability to come in on offense would be a problem with running back Ronald Jones II holding the number on that side of the ball.
Granted, Jones wore No. 4 as a tribute to Joe McKnight for the 2017 Rose Bowl. So it remains a possibility. However, receiver Steven Mitchell, who has worn No. 7 in the past, was rumored to switch to No. 4 this spring as well.
Freshman safety Bubba Bolden posted a picture decked out in Jackson’s old No. 2.
Freshman offensive lineman Jalen McKenzie turned up in No. 54, which would put him opposite early enrollee linebacker Tayler Katoa.
Freshman cornerback Jay Godfrey showed off his No. 22, formerly Leon McQuay III’s jersey, with freshman kicker Chase McGrath in No. 40:
The jersey numbers of USC’s spring enrollees have already been set with quarterback Jack Sears in No. 13, defensive tackle Marlon Tuipulotu in No. 51, Katoa in No. 54, offensive lineman Andrew Vorhees in No. 72 and longsnapper Damon Johnson in No. 48.
The Trojans are in the midst of player-run practices but the offseason is barreling towards its conclusion with Pac-12 Media Days set to begin in two weeks on July 26.
USC’s fall camp will kick off shortly after the annual media festivities, with a tentative start date of July 29.