USC football Spring Camp: Five things we learned from Week 1

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

Hurting for secondary depth

The Trojans knew they would be dealing with little depth in the secondary this spring, but the issue is real now, and it’s a real problem.

On the plus side, USC welcomed back Greg Johnson from the transfer portal midway through Week 1. However, on the same day Johnson returned, early enrollee Briton Allen came up injured and had to sit out Day 3. His absence put in sharp focus the razor’s edge the Trojans are sitting on.

On Thursday, the first team defense included three players in yellow non-contact jerseys, with Johnson and safeties Talanoa Hufanga and Isaiah Pola-Mao limited for the whole spring. Cornerback Isaac Taylor Stuart and nickelback Chase Williams were the only healthy scholarship players in the lineup, supplemented by converted nickelback Raymond Scott.

When it comes to the 2019 season, things will surely get better. The non-contact players will eventually be cleared and a platoon of safeties and cornerbacks from the class of 2019 will arrive to bolster the ranks in the summer.

However, USC’s ability to compete during Spring Camp is sorely hampered by the lack of healthy bodies. Walk-ons are providing a service by being out on the field, but the Trojans are far from fulfilling the “iron sharpens iron” mantra when the likes of Michael Pittman and Tyler Vaughns have only walk-ons to contend with.

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