USC football depth chart release observations vs. Fresno State

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

USC football released the first depth chart of the season on Friday morning ahead of the Fresno State game, with intrigue at guard and corner.

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The first USC football depth chart of 2019 is here.

The Trojans had previously revealed the pecking order at quarterback with JT Daniels followed by Kedon Slovis and Matt Fink, but the Friday reveal gave the first official look at the rest of the lineup.

CHECK OUT: What would a Combined 22 USC-Fresno State lineup look like?

Were there any surprises? Not really.

Offensive depth chart

Left Tackle:

Austin JacksonFrank MartinBernard Schirmer

Left Guard:

Alijah Vera-TuckerJacob DanielAJ Mageo


Brett NeilonJustin DedichGino Quinones

Right Guard:Jalen McKenzieAndrew VorheesLiam DouglassMark Zuvich

Right Tackle:

Drew RichmondLiam JimmonsClayton BradleyJason Rodriguez

Y/H (Tight End):

Erik KrommenhoekJosh FaloJude WolfeSean MahoneyScott VoigtEthan Rae (injured)

X Receiver:

Michael PittmanDevon WilliamsMatthew Hocum

A Receiver:

Velus JonesJohn JacksonDominic DavisJack WebsterChris Caulk

Y Receiver:

Amon-Ra St. BrownDrake LondonZach WilsonKyle Ford (injured)

Z Receiver:

Tyler VaughnsMunir McClainChase LockeBru McCoy (injured)

Running back:

Vavae Malepeai OR Stephen CarrMarkese SteppQuincy JounttiKenan ChristonChris EdmondsonBen Easington (injured)

Observations at practice during the Fresno State gameweek had hinted that Jalen McKenzie could start at right guard with Tennessee transfer Drew Richmond taking his place at right tackle. The depth chart confirmed that shift with Andrew Vorhees taking a second-team place.

At running back Vavae Malepeai and Stephen Carr received split billing as starters.

Otherwise, the offensive depth chart is as expected. Erik Krommenhoek officially got the nod as USC’s tight end/H-back, though don’t expect Josh Falo to ride the bench.

Other backups who can expect to see playing time include Devon Williams at wide receiver and Markese Stepp at running back. The likes of John Jackson III, Drake London and Munir McClain may factor in as well.

The depth chart also locked in Dominic Davis’ move from cornerback to receiver, working in the slot.

Defensive depth chart

Defensive end:

Christian RectorConnor Murphy

Defensive tackle:

Jay TufeleNick FigueroaStanley Ta’ufo’ouJacob Lichtenstein (injured)

Nose tackle:

Marlon Tuipulotu OR Brandon PiliDe’Jon BentonTrevor Trout

Defensive End:

Drake JacksonCaleb Tremblay

SAM linebacker:

Hunter EcholsJuliano FalanikoPeter EsparzaAbdul-Malik McClain (injured)Bryce Matthews (injured)

WILL linebacker:

Palaie GaoteoteKana’i MaugaRaymond Scott OR Tuasivi NomuraMatt BayleGrant JonesClyde Moore (injured)

MIKE linebacker:

John HoustonRalen GoforthManinoa TufonoSpencer GilbertJordan Iosefa (injured)Eli’Jah Winston (injured)Solomon Tuliaupupu (injured)


Olaijah GriffinJayden WilliamsMax Williams (injured)

Free safety:

Isaiah Pola-MaoC.J. PollardJordan McMillanBrandon Perdue

Strong safety:

Talanoa HufangaChase WilliamsBriton AllenRichard Hagestad


Greg JohnsonChase WilliamsDorian HewettKaulana Makaula


Isaac Taylor-Stuart OR Chris SteeleAdonis Otey

On defense, speculation that Greg Johnson may have leaped over the top of Chase Williams at nickelback was also proven correct. Williams does seem to be a player who could be rotated in, however, whether at nickelback or safety, where he has also trained.

Meanwhile, at cornerback, the picture isn’t much more clear than it originally seemed. Olaijah Griffin was slotted as a starter on the left while Isaac Taylor-Stuart and Chris Steele are separated by an OR on the right. Both are expected to see extensive playing time.

Freshman defensive end Drake Jackson will indeed begin the season as a starter.

Special teams depth chart


Chase McGrathMichael BrownThomas FittsAlex Stadthaus (KO)


Ben GriffithsWill Rose


Damon JohnsonJac Casasante


Ben GriffithsMatt Fink

Punt returner:

Tyler VaughnsAmon-Ra St. BrownOlaijah Griffin

Kickoff returner:

Velus JonesStephen CarrAmon-Ra St. BrownVavae Malepeai

On special teams, Chase McGrath won what had been a fairly even kicking battle over Michael Brown.

There were no other surprises in that area of the depth chart.