The USC Trojans are accustomed to players going to the NFL, so the spring game is always the best chance to watch the newer guys compete to fill in certain positions.
This year, the offensive side of the ball has more than a few question marks heading into the season. This game will let everyone take a closer look at a few position battles.
The loss of Matt Barkley clearly creates a hole in this offense, regardless of what NFL scouts are saying about him.
The two big names that will be competing for the starting job are sophomore Max Wittek and freshman Max Browne.
Wittek got some playing time last year after Barkley injured his shoulder late in the season. He finished the year completing 36 of 69 passes for 388 yards, three touchdowns and five interceptions. The numbers weren’t pretty, but then again he was only a freshman who was forced into the situation.
A lot of fans are hoping that Browne gets the chance to start. He was the top quarterback prospect in the 2013 recruiting class, according to Rivals.com. With USC being renowned for popular quarterbacks, it’s no wonder people are hoping to see Browne start at the beginning of the season.
The Trojans have three potentially starting running backs once the season begins, but Silas Redd and D.J. Morgan will both sit out the game due to injuries.
This gives Justin Davis an opportunity to prove himself as the team’s premier back. Davis is a freshman out of Stockton, California, and was the ninth-best running back in his recruiting class (via Rivals.com).
Davis demonstrated excellent field vision and awareness to run downfield rather than laterally, which is something younger running backs tend to struggle with. That kind of maturity is what makes Davis such an exciting player to watch, and a big spring game could force Lane Kiffin’s hand and give him the starting job.
The Trojans have two solid receivers in Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor. However, the competition has just gotten intense for the No. 3 receiver spot with George Farmer tearing his ACL.
The competition will be between De’Von Flournoy, Darreus Rogers and Victor Blackwell. Flournoy is the most experienced as a redshirt senior, but has only caught one ball for 21 yards in his career at USC. Blackwell is a redshirt sophomore and only has one catch in his career as well.
Rogers will be the key player to watch at receiver. He is yet another freshman coming in for the Trojans. He’s listed at 6’1’’ and weighs 195 pounds, but does an excellent job in traffic and can move the chains by racking up yards after the catch.
No one stands out in particular for the No. 3 receiver spot, so the spring game will be important for these three young players. If one is able to stand out, they will be in a great position come August.