Eleven members of the USC football recruiting class for 2019 were announced as early enrollees, getting a head start on their Trojan careers this spring.
USC football announced double-digit early enrollees for the class of 2019 as 11 new Trojans started classes this week.
The list of early enrollees which USC Athletics tweeted on Tuesday evening includes five-star athlete Bru McCoy, four-star cornerback Max Williams, four-star defensive end Drake Jackson, four-star tight end Jude Wolfe, three-star safety Briton Allen, three-star linebacker Ralen Goforth, three-star defensive end Nick Figueroa, three-star quarterback Kedon Slovis, three-star linebacker Stanley Taufoou, three-star lineman Gino Quinones and former Australian Football League player Ben Griffiths, a punter.
That list is slightly different from the one which was expected, without four-star tackle Jason Rodriguez, four-star wide receiver Drake London, four-star tight end Ethan Rae, three-star running back Kenan Christon and three-star cornerback Trey Davis.
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The biggest addition in the group is McCoy, who announced his commitment on Saturday at the All-American Bowl having already signed his letter of intent in secret during the Early Signing Period.
McCoy could be a factor during Spring Camp as he pursues early playing time whether at wide receiver or outside linebacker.
Unfortunately, the second-highest rated player in the group won’t be able to make many waves during camp. Williams is recovering from a knee injury suffered during his senior season in high school.
Williams’ injury is particularly unfortunate because of the depth issues USC has at cornerback. Losing Iman Marshall, Isaiah Langley, Ajene Harris and Jonathan Lockett to graduation, the Trojans return just four scholarship cornerbacks, along with converted running back Dominic Davis.
There won’t be any extra cornerbacks available, but the safety group will get a much-needed addition in Allen, who flipped his commitment from Georgia Tech on Early Signing Day. He joins a group which includes just three scholarship players after the graduation of Marvell Tell. And both Isaiah Pola-Mao and Talanoa Hufanga are coming off of season-ending injuries, so the extent of their spring participation isn’t yet clear.
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Jackson and Figueroa will be around to bolster USC’s defensive line, which should have as much depth as there has been in recent memory. The biggest question for Jackson is whether or not the Trojans are really planning to try him out at the Predator linebacker spot.
At tight end, Wolfe comes into a tight end group under the new, but familiar leadership of special teams coach John Baxter. If he hits the ground running, his all-around game could put him right in the competition for the top spot on the depth chart, though it’s still unclear how USC plans to use the tight ends going forward.
It’ll be tough for the linebackers, Goforth and Ta’ufo’ou to get a crack at the starting lineup given the picture ahead of them, but they will still have a valuable opportunity to learn and grow in their first Spring Camp.
The same goes for Slovis, who figures to take his time developing with several quarterbacks vying for the starting job ahead of him.
As for Quinones, his future on the offensive or defensive line could very well be determined in these opening few months.
Finally, Griffiths will step right in and get the chance to stake his claim to the open punting job left vacant by Reid Budrovich.