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Is USC football's left tackle question already settled?

USC football offensive line.
USC football offensive line. / (Derek Marckel/USC Football)
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Short of a sudden shift, USC football may already have a very good idea of who the starting left tackle for the 2021 season.

Despite returning four starters on the offensive line, USC football has been left with a massive question to answer at left tackle.

Replacing Alijah Vera-Tucker, a presumptive first round NFL Draft selection, will be no easy task.

Still, after a little over a week of practice, Is it possible the question has already been answered?

The Trojans came out on the first Tuesday of Spring Camp with Courtland Ford holding down the left tackle spot and he hasn't conceded his place since.

That's four practices with Ford lining up exclusively next to Andrew Vorhees at left guard. Brett Neilon still holds down the center spot while Liam Jimmons and Jalen McKenzie have retained their place at right guard and right tackle, respectively.

Ideally, the Trojans will be able to stick with that lineup all the way through the 2021 season.

USC football's offensive line still has a long way to go

Last week, head coach Clay Helton highlighted Ford, along with Jalen McKenzie, Jonah Monheim, and Casey Collier, as players who will have the chance to compete for the open starting job on the left. While Ford has commanded the first-team reps, Collier has worked with the second team while Monheim has been on the right.

It could be Ford is simply getting the first crack and others will be cycled through as camp goes on. It just doesn't look like that's the case.

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Of the players vying for the position, Ford has the highest ceiling. He has quick feet and good length at 6-foot-6. Even though he was a three-star recruit, a high school injury largely took the sails out of his recruiting ranking. He had early offers from Alabama, LSU and Georgia for a reason.

At this point, Ford taking over the job would be a relief. Competition is obviously the key, but the line's overall chemistry is important, too, especially working with a new offensive line coach in Clay McGuire. The sooner he has his favored five, the better.

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