Lincoln Riley has surprising but fantastic O-Line news for USC Trojans

Jonah Monheim, USC Football, USC Trojans
Jonah Monheim, USC Football, USC Trojans / Meg Oliphant/GettyImages

Everyone knew that Andrew Vorhees, Brett Neilon, and Justin Dedich would be starting on USC football's offensive line this year, but Jonah Monheim, Courtland Ford, and Bobby Haskins' statuses were a bit up in the air. Two of them would start, but which two? Well, USC's now halfway there in answering that question:

So, Monheim will be the starting Right Tackle. This is surprising news, because many expected Ford and Haskins to be the two tackles. Monheim clearly must have really impressed and developed in camp to earn a job over both an ACC Honorable Mention in Haskins and a returning starter with experience on the No. 1-rated offensive line in America last year (PFF) in Ford.

Especially since Haskins is three years older and Ford's athleticism makes him a great fit for Lincoln Riley's system. With Monheim being a four-star prospect in the 2020 recruiting class out of Moorpark High School in Moorpark, California, it was only a matter of time before he earned himself a starting spot.

He's earned it earlier than he's needed to, which shows that he's ahead of schedule in his development.

Jonah Monheim starting for USC football will also help bring out the best for Bobby Haskins and Courtland Ford.

USC football knows they have two quality tackles in Courtland Ford and Bobby Haskins, and if Jonah Monheim is even better, it goes to show that they have an improved starting five and even more depth than they thought. Having a player like Haskins or Ford coming off the bench is a pretty great situation to be in.

Also, iron sharpens iron. The two remaining tackles are going to gain so much from being able to compete with one another. There probably will be a bit more pressure on Haskins to win it, as he is entering that sixth year, and the pressure has the chance to push him to be his very best.

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Ford still has plenty of time to start in the future, but the competition will keep him on his toes for this season and be valuable experience for him moving forward even if he 'loses' it. These are the healthy competitions that healthy programs have going on in the fall. This will make the team better, and this offensive line that was already legit, even stronger.