Outside linebacker Hunter Echols was rumored to be transferring from USC football, but reports now suggest he will remain a Trojan.
FINAL UPDATE: Echols confirmed to Adam Maya of TrojanSports.com, who first reported his intended transfer, that his name is not in the transfer portal. Echols’ father also verified that with Scott Schrader of TrojanInsider.com.
That means the Trojans will go into Spring Camp next with their redshirt sophomore outside linebacker.
UPDATE: Echols is not in the transfer portal, according to Keely Eure of USCFootball.com.
“Hunter Echols is not in the transfer portal, according to the 247Sports database. I also spoke to a source close to Echols who confirmed that the linebacker is not in the portal,” Eure tweeted on Friday afternoon.
ORIGINAL: USC football is now officially hemorrhaging transfers.
The Trojans are set to lose a third player to the transfer portal on Friday, with redshirt sophomore outside linebacker Hunter Echols intending to transfer, according to Adam Maya of TrojanSports.com.
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Echols joins Greg Johnson and Velus Jones Jr. in deciding to transfer ahead of Spring Camp. That trio makes it nine players to enter the transfer portal this offseason.
While Johnson and Jones Jr. are leaving positions with major depth concerns, Echols’ departure won’t cut the Trojans very deeply when it comes to depth at outside linebacker. USC brought in an army of reinforcements in the 2018 recruiting class.
However, his decision to leave is curious considering he was slated to compete for a starting job this offseason.
The graduation of Porter Gustin opened up a starting job at Predator linebacker, even if defensive end Christian Rector held down the position in his stead during the 2018 season.
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Echols was likely to battle with Eli’Jah Winston, Abdul-Malik McClain and others this Spring Camp. It seemed as though he might have the advantage in the competition as well. Not only did he have a year of experience ahead of the others, but he was a part of the rotation last season, largely playing a third-down pass rushing role.
We at Reign of Troy designated Echols as one of the players with the “most to gain” this spring. His absence will ultimately be someone else’s gain.
Losing three players, all of whom were expected to compete for first team places, so close to the start of Spring Camp certainly doesn’t bode well for the Trojans. USC will suit up for the first practice of camp on Tuesday.