USC football players who could actually benefit from delayed Spring Camp

Tim Warner/Getty Images
Tim Warner/Getty Images /
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Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy /

Hunter Echols

At the end of the 2019 season, Hunter Echols opted to undergo surgery to fix a problem with his shoulder. That surgery was due to keep him out for Spring Camp.

The opportunity lost was set to be a sizable one. While USC prepared to transition to Todd Orlando’s new scheme, it was a mystery who would fill the B-Backer spot, a hybrid linebacker/defensive end role. To start with the Trojans turned to Drake Jackson, but coaches indicated he could also see time in the more traditional defensive end position.

It made sense to try Jackson at B-Backer first because options besides him were quite limited with Echols and Abdul-Malik McClain out with injury.

Echols and McClain can’t compete with Jackson on a pure talent perspective, but they bring a different skill set to the position with slimmer, faster builds.

In some sense, Echols and those at his position may be in contention with defensive ends like Caleb Tremblay, Connor Murphy, and Nick Figueroa as much as they are with Jackson. It’s a given Jackson will be on the field for USC, the others need to prove they’re valuable enough join him, at whatever position is open.

For that reason, the Spring Camp pause will help Echols as much as anyone. By the time practice comes back around Echols could be ready to make a run at a starting job.