USC football loses defensive tackle for the season with back injury

USC football practices at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 in Los Angeles Calif. (John McGillen via USC Athletics)
USC football practices at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 in Los Angeles Calif. (John McGillen via USC Athletics) /

USC football won’t have Trevor Trout available on the defensive line in 2020, with his football career in doubt because of an injury.

USC football has been waiting to see what former four-star defensive lineman Trevor Trout could become. The wait may never end.

On Thursday, head coach Clay Helton revealed the redshirt sophomore will miss the 2020 campaign as he continues to deal with a back injury. Worse still, his future in football is in doubt.

Helton hinted that Trout may be on his way towards a medical retirement.

The development is disappointing for a once-promising prospect. Trout was the No. 236 player in the class of 2018 as a 6-foot-3, 315-pound defensive tackle.

His USC career has been defined by injury. After redshirting in 2018, he was set to be limited in 2019 Spring Camp with a back problem before a bicep injury took him out entirely. He played in two games but also dealt with a wrist injury that required surgery after the season.

USC football’s defensive line depth will be impacted by Trevor Trout’s absence

Trout is one of three defensive linemen who won’t be available to the Trojans this season. Jay Tufele declared for the NFL Draft before the season was reinstated and Jacob Lichtenstein opted out with an eye on returning in 2021.

CHECK OUT: Two freshmen offensive linemen have stood out early

USC is left with most of the key pieces they need on the defensive line, but with far less wiggle room between veteran starters and freshmen.

On the plus side, the Trojans have made recruiting depth for the defensive line a priority recently. They picked up De’jon Benton and Stanley Ta’ufo’ou in the class of 2019 and added Kobe Pepe, Jamar Sekona and Tuli Tuipulotu in the class of 2020.

Brandon Pili and Marlon Tuipulotu should have things covered at defensive tackle, while the trio of Caleb Tremblay, Nick Figueroa and Connor Murphy are established at defensive end with the versatility to move around the line. Still, one or two injuries may thrust one of the younger players into extensive playing time.

Fortunately, some of those young players have shown real promise. Dejon Benton was a pleasant surprise in practice and made appearances in four games as a true freshman while redshirting.

MORE: Game time announced for Friday night vs. Wazzu

Helton also had high praise for the early performance of the younger Tuipulotu, who looks ready to contribute right away for the Trojans.

Next. Projecting USC's Depth Chart