USC Football Redshirt Tracker: Which freshmen played in Week 1?

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

USC football made use of new redshirt rules in Week 1, deploying more than half of the class of 2018 against UNLV on Saturday.


It may not be readily apparent just yet, but a new era of college football dawned with the start of the 2018 season

New redshirt rules have the potential to change the landscape around the country and they may already be making their mark at USC.

In the past, players who participated at any point in the season, even for just one play, were no longer eligible for a redshirt unless given a medical exemption. Now, players can feature in up to four games while still leaving the possibility of a redshirt on the table.

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How much did that change impact USC’s decision-making on freshmen participants in Week 1?

“A lot,” said head coach Clay Helton.

The Trojans used more than half of their 2018 recruiting class on Saturday with 10 of 17 freshmen players taking part. There might have been even more if not for injuries to running back Markese Stepp and linebackers Palaie Gaoteote and Solomon Tuliaupupu.

“There were some guys that we feel are ready to play right now and there’s some guys that we wanted to gain experience,” Helton continued. “There’s others that we’re going to continue to develop and then hopefully be able to play later in the season.”

Throughout the season, Reign of Troy will keep an eye on freshmen to track who is and isn’t eligible for a redshirt under new rules.

Redshirt Games Played Tracker


Along with the freshmen, a handful of other Trojans could be in line to redshirt in 2018. Those include Oluwole Betiku, who is rehabbing from hip surgery, and Connor Murphy, who switched positions from linebacker to defensive line this offseason.

Junior college transfer Caleb Tremblay was part of the class of 2018 and has a redshirt year available, though it seems unlikely he’ll go that route.

Helton hopes the redshirt rule change will keep players healthier and help develop young prospects more quickly.

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It’ll be interesting to see just how many players take advantage in 2018. Week 1 was an easy pick to allow several freshmen to see the field, but Week 2 and 3 against Stanford and Texas on the road should give a clearer indication of who is likely to stay on the road to a redshirt and who isn’t.