USC football picked up a transfer O-Lineman last week in JUCO product Cooper Lovelace out of Butler Community College. Some may remember Butler Community College as one of the JUCO's Independence Community College played against in the hit sports docuseries 'Last Chance U.'
He will be on the team in this upcoming season. With SC missing out on Josh Conerly, it was vital that the team found O-Line depth elsewhere. SC has a nice group of starting O-Linemen for 2022 with four starters returning from last year's line--a line that was the highest-rated O-Line in the nation according to PFF.
What SC fans probably weren't expecting, however, was what type of athlete Lovelace is. A previous video Lovelace posted that went viral at the beginning of the year resurfaced in the coming days after Lovelace was picked up. It was a video where he showed why he's coined the "most flexible big man":
USC football landed a true freak of nature in Cooper Lovelace.
Lincoln Riley's offensive system favors athletic O-linemen, and Cooper Lovelace clearly is that. Humans aren't typically capable of bending the way he did in that video. Now, factor in that he's 6'5", 320 pounds. This is absurd.
Not much was known about Lovelace heading into this commitment, other than the encouraging fact that SC was not the only big program interested. Florida also offered Lovelace, which is encouraging.
Lovelace, an interior offensive lineman, will have some tough competition if he wants to start at SC. Center Brett Neilon didn't allow a single sack last year in 534 snaps, which was the most out of any Power 5 center (PFF). Left Guard Andrew Vorhees only allowed one, and was the only O-lineman in the entire nation to post a 90+ PFF grade as both a pass-blocker AND run-blocker.
Right Guard Justin Dedich was the third-highest graded lineman on the team (PFF) and has reportedly been the "most consistent performer through the spring" on the Trojans offensive line.
He was also recently spotted pulling a semi truck--literally. He's going to be a monster next year. It's going to be hard to find a starting spot on this team for 2022.
That being said, USC is questionable in its depth heading into the year, and Lovelace has an opportunity to be the next man up. Nobody knows if the injury bug decides to bite this year. If it does, Lovelace is an intriguing prospect to fill in for an injured player. This was undoubtedly an important pickup from Josh Henson and Riley.