USC Football: Cary Angeline’s departure explained by Clay Helton

Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy

USC head coach Clay Helton provided an explanation for the loss of tight end Cary Angeline on Monday, citing homesickness and playing time.

The decision for redshirt freshman tight end Cary Angeline to leave the USC Football program surprised the Trojan Family on Sunday night. On Monday, head coach Clay Helton supplied an explanation for Angeline’s departure.

“Cary is a great kid,” Helton said. “He wants to find a place closer to home to be able to play.”

Angeline joined USC as a four-star recruit from Chester Springs, Pennsylvania in 2016. He spent a year with the Trojans before opting to transfer out of Los Angeles, apparently due to homesickness. Lack of playing time at USC, with true freshmen Erik Krommenhoek and Josh Falo receiving reps over the second-year player, also appears to have had an effect.

“It happens sometimes when you’re a long way from home,” Helton said. “To have the ability to play a little bit closer to home, to maybe play a little bit more, that’s something that I don’t want to ever hold a kid back from that, especially being 3,000 miles from home.”

The redshirt freshman, who won Offensive Service Team Player of the Year honors in his first year, wouldn’t be the first out-of-state Trojan to struggle with being so far from home.

Running back Ronald Jones II missed practice time as a freshman in 2015 while dealing with similar issues. A number of players have left the program over the years with homesickness considered to be a contributing factor, including offensive lineman E.J. Price earlier this year.

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Helton complimented Angeline for being an “unbelievable student and person,” wishing him “nothing but the best.”

“He’s been nothing but awesome since he’s been here and I wish him nothing but a bright future. He’s going to have one,” Helton said.

Angeline’s departure leaves USC thinner at the tight end spot than is ideal, but in nowhere close to as dire a situation as the Trojans have faced in recent years at the position.

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The return of Daniel Imatorbhebhe from a hip flexor injury would go a long way to bolster the Trojan ranks while starter Tyler Petite will be supplemented by Krommenhoek and Falo more than expected this season.