USC football suffers two major injury blows at linebacker going into 2020 season

USC football linebacker Jordan Iosefa. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
USC football linebacker Jordan Iosefa. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

USC football will be without two linebackers, Jordan Iosefa and Solomon Tuliaupupu, who might have held starting jobs in 2020 because of injury.

That massive groan you just heard was the collective frustration of USC football fans around Los Angeles.

Trojan linebackers Jordan Iosefa and Solomon Tuliaupupu will miss the 2020 season after having knee surgery this fall.

For Iosefa, that’s another season lost for the captain who would like to maintain a starting role.

For Tuliaupupu, that’s a third straight lost campaign for a bright young talent who Trojan fans haven’t had a chance to see since he joined from Mater Dei in 2018.

USC football has to make do without Jordan Iosefa and Solomon Tuliaupupu

Head coach Clay Helton acknowledged being “heartbroken” over Tuliaupupu’s injury in particular. He missed the 2018 and 2019 seasons while dealing with a foot injury he’d carried since high school. He finally looked right on that front and could have been a game-changer for the Trojans this year.

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Instead, Tuliaupupu sustained a knee injury and will face another lengthy recovery.

Iosefa’s issue stems back to the same problem that kept him out last season. He needs to have his knee scoped because of some scarring that remains in place.

Losing two potential starting linebackers will impact USC’s depth this season.

“We have men there, but when you talk about the quality on defense and special teams, those are losses,” Helton said.

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At least USC can look forward to the return of two players with starting experience in Palaie Gaoteote and Kana’i Mauga. This could increase the number of opportunities given to players like Ralen Goforth and Maninoa Tufono.

Unfortunately, another young prospect, Eli’Jah Winston, will be limited this fall because of an injury he sustained over the summer as well.

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