USC football in the NFL: Porter Gustin shines in Browns’ scrimmage

Former USC football start Porter Gustin. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Former USC football start Porter Gustin. (Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

USC football alum Porter Gustin is finding his place with the Browns.

The road to the NFL hasn’t been easy for USC football alum Porter Gustin. He struggled with injuries throughout his Trojan career. He ended up undrafted in 2019 and was cut by the New Orleans Saints before his rookie season could begin.

Gustin, however, hasn’t given up on his NFL dreams and things are looking up for the defensive end.

On Sunday, Gustin produced two sacks during the Cleveland Browns’ live scrimmage at FirstEnergy Stadium, adding another strong performance to a solid training camp.

Porter Gustin is still trying to live up to his USC football potential.

Gustin is getting extra opportunities because of injuries to Myles Garrett and Chad Thomas.

Garrett is not going to be giving up his starting job anytime soon, but by some estimates, Gustin has moved ahead of Thomas in the pecking order. That’s a significant move for a player who has never been guaranteed a roster spot as a pro.

On Sunday, Gustin drew eyeballs when he blew by rookie left tackle Jedrick Wills for a sack.

Practice is a zero-sum game for every team, so there have been concerns raised over the Wills’ performance against Gustin. However, the edge rusher hasn’t just found success against a rookie learning the ropes. He added a second sack on Sunday and continues to progress as a force on the defensive line.

Even before Sunday’s scrimmage, Gustin was making waves at Browns’ camp.

“Gustin has been all over the field and, most importantly, in the backfield on a regular basis,” Andrew Gribble wrote in his Day 6 observations from training camp.

The Browns signed Gustin to the practice squad in early November and activated him to the roster within a few weeks. He went on to play in six games, logging a sack in his first pro appearance. In total, he had 12 tackles and a fumble recovery to go along with that one sack on the season.

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It should be an interesting season to keep track of the former Trojan, whose ability brought him to the brink of All-American level in cardinal and gold while injury kept him contained more than any defender could.

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