USC football released their opening depth chart a little past midnight on Wednesday night, and it looks sensational. Seeing promising players like Gary Bryant Jr. and Xavion Alford on the bench goes to show that SC does have some very deep spots on the roster.
There are also positions that have two promising players listed as starters, separated by 'OR' markers on the chart. Some examples are RB, where the starter is listed as either Travis Dye OR Austin Jones, and LT where the starter is listed as either Courtland Ford OR Bobby Haskins:
While having multiple viable starting options at a position is not a bad thing, though, it's not particularly good that the most important position on the offensive line is still up for grabs between Ford and Haskins. This was a battle that was known about for a long time now, but it was supposed to be over by now.
The old saying is; 'If you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks.' It's not; 'If you have two left tackles, you have no left tackles.' But, offensive line is going to be one of the biggest X-factors on this team in terms of position groups. For the man protecting the blind side to be unknown at this point isn't the best way to enter a season.
This is not a knock on either of USC football's left tackles.
Both of USC football's left tackles--Courtland Ford and Bobby Haskins--are more than capable of getting the job done. Ford has fantastic athleticism for a 6-6, 305 lb bully, which fits this system very well. Haskins was an ACC Honorable Mention at his previous school--Virginia. Both of course have plentiful starting experience, too.
The issue is that this confirms a shaky strategy where USC may hold left tackle try-outs on Saturday, during the game. USC Offensive Coordinator and Offensive Line Coach Josh Henson mentioned that he might not know who the starter is until the game, and that he very well may have both of them audition during the game:
And again, the problem is that Caleb Williams' health and the trench play in general is going to be necessary and vital for this team. While USC can't go wrong with playing either one or both at any time, it would likely be best if USC had a clear-cut starter so that they could play him there consistently in both practices and games, and develop and solidify the chemistry on the line.
At Left Guard, USC has the best interior offensive lineman in the country. At Center, USC has another one of the best interior offensive linemen in the country. At Right Guard, they have a captain who was the third-highest graded guard in the nation last year. At right tackle, they have a four-star recruit (247Sports) who's been waiting in the wings and ready to pounce.
At Left Tackle, they have two good options. It goes to show that whichever one doesn't win out, still hasn't lost. They won't start, but having a valuable sixth man on the offensive line always is a huge role on the team. Look at last year--USC had their injuries on the offensive line, but it didn't affect them. Depth is as important as anything in the trenches.