USC Football Roster: Joseph Lewis, Jamel Cook highlight spring camp omissions

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

USC Football released the 2018 roster on Monday ahead of Spring Camp opening with several players missing, including Jamel Cook, Joseph Lewis and Jalen Greene.

With more scholarship players than the 85-man limit coming out of Signing Day, it was expected that USC Football would be trimming the roster ahead of Spring Camp.

On Monday the release of the official 2018 roster added clarity as to just which players would not be continuing on in the cardinal and gold.

Defensive back Jamel Cook headlines that group, perhaps confirming transfer rumors which have long followed him around.

The former four-star safety joined USC from Florida in 2016 but his first year was lost due to injury and he never found a way to break into the lineup as a redshirt freshman in 2017. The Trojans tried him at safety, nickelback and corner but he rarely saw the field.

It’s not known where he will go, presumably as a transfer.

Here’s the full list of players who no longer feature on USC’s roster:

  • WR Jalen Greene
  • WR Joseph Lewis
  • OL Roy Hemsley
  • OL Cole Smith
  • OL Nathan Smith
  • S Jamel Cook
  • LB Grant Moore
  • LB Olajuwon Tucker

Joseph Lewis was another highly-touted recruit at receiver. A five-star prospect, he was expected to compete for playing time this season but an arrest for alleged domestic violence has his future in doubt. He was suspended indefinitely while his case proceeds, but USC now lists him as a squadman lost.

Veteran receiver and former starter Jalen Greene appears to be moving on. He would be a redshirt senior in 2018 and is a potential graduate transfer, should he choose to pursue another year of football.

UPDATE: Greene will be a graduate transfer, per Joey Kaufman of the OC Register.

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The Trojans will lose three offensive linemen this year. Roy Hemsley announced his intention to transfer to ASU last week while Cole Smith announced his retirement from football for medical reasons. Nathan Smith’s departure could also be health-related. The offensive tackle suffered a knee injury in the lead up to the 2017 Rose Bowl and missed all of last season while rehabbing the injury.

A pair of scholarship linebackers are also on the move with Grant Moore and Olajuwon Tucker off the roster. Moore was a former walk-on and would have been a redshirt senior if he remained with the team. Tucker spent the 2017 season redshirting and would also have another year of college eligibility remaining if he opted to leave as a graduate transfer.

With eight former scholarship players off the roster in 2018, USC will be below the 85-man limit during spring camp. In fact, they’ll be well short, with 82 scholarships accounted for.

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That means the Trojans could award a scholarship to a preferred walk-on like wide receiver John Jackson III, or they could dip into the graduate transfer market at a position of need.