Iman Marshall opts to return to USC Football for senior season

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

Cornerback Iman Marshall announced his decision to return to USC Football for his senior season on Friday, becoming the latest key defender to make a comeback.

USC Football’s defense got another big boost for the 2018 season on Friday as cornerback Iman Marshall revealed he will be back for his final season of eligibility.

The junior defensive back was among those expected to leave the Trojans early for the NFL, but he ultimately opted to put that decision off just as junior linebacker Cameron Smith did earlier this week.

“I came to USC three years ago with big expectations for myself and for this university,” Marshall wrote on Twitter. “Want to help bring this University back to the top and feel we got a lot more left to accomplish, time to go and get it! It’s an honor to be a Trojan.”

Marshall came to USC as a highly-coveted five-star cornerback and delivered on the hype early, earning a starting spot with the Trojans as a true freshman. He also co-led the team with three interceptions that year.

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A promising sophomore season working opposite Adoree’ Jackson in USC’s secondary had expectations for Marshall’s junior campaign sky high. However, the year didn’t exactly go as planned, with a mixed bag of results for the Trojans’ No. 1 corner. A midseason knee sprain suffered against Notre Dame, which held him out for three weeks, didn’t help his production.

The decision to return means USC will have a full complement of cornerbacks at their disposal in 2018. No one from the 2017 unit will depart, including both returning starters, while senior Jonathan Lockett is due to return from a season-ending injury.

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The hope will be that another year of experience in Clancy Pendergast’s system will help stabilize a largely hot-or-cold group. USC’s passing defense was ranked ninth in S&P+, but ranked 122nd nationally in long pass plays given up.