USC Football Spring Camp 2018: Looking for more from tight end

USC football tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe. (Harry How/Getty Images)
USC football tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe. (Harry How/Getty Images) /

With two veteran returning starters, USC Football’s tight end unit could be a real strength for the Trojans this spring. If they can stay healthy and active.

There won’t be any new faces at tight end for USC Football this Spring Camp, but the established names on the roster should be able to make their case for a featured role in the offense.

What can USC fans expect from the tight ends this spring? Have a look:

Roster Rundown

Departing (1):Cary Angeline

Returning (4): *Tyler Petite, Sr.*Daniel Imatorbhebhe, RS-Jr.Josh Falo, So.Erik Krommenhoek, So.

*Returning starters

Tyler Petite and Daniel Imatorbhebhe are both back and should be co-starters once again for the Trojans. USC will just hope they actually see more time on the field together. Petite led the tight ends with 23 catches for 307 yards, but Imatorbhebhe was limited to just eight catches in nine games of action.

Supporting the two veterans is a pair of young players who saw far more time in 2017 than expected.

Josh Falo started out slow, missing much of fall camp with an injury, but he played in 12 games, scored two touchdowns and caught the pass which sealed USC’s Pac-12 Championship.

Erik Krommenhoek played in all 14 games as a freshman. Though he only had two catches, he remains a reasonably reliable blocking option with better-than-expected receiving ability which could be honed during his sophomore campaign.

Though he is not on scholarship, walk-on Austin Applebee should be another active figure for the Trojans.

Biggest Battle

Petite and Imatorbhebhe will be fighting their bodies as much as each other this spring.

There’s enough room for both to thrive in USC’s offense, but Petite’s weight gain from last year seemed to limit his athleticism while Imatorbhebhe missed half the season with a hip problem. Petite also played through his own injury issues throughout the year.

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How much chemistry can each build with the new crop of Trojan quarterbacks? Or will USC aim to get more of a look from the young players while preserving the vets for more important battles to come?

Player to Watch

In the grand scheme of things, Falo had a fairly quiet freshman season. After all, he had just four catches. But even those showed the potential of the former four-star Sacramento. Half of that number were touchdowns and one more converted a fourth-and-short to put away Stanford in the Pac-12 title game.

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This will be Falo’s first spring camp as a Trojan, giving him the chance to further develop both his body and blocking ability. It’ll also be an opportunity to USC to work out how to get the most out of their tallest receiving option.