As he prepares to embark on his inaugural season as USC's head coach, Steve Sarkisian will have to look for as many contributors as possible on a roster that lacks depth due to the scholarship reductions placed on the Trojans courtesy of the sanctions handed to them by the NCAA.
This is particularly true of the tight end position, where a lack of scholarship players was magnified by the ill-advised defection of Xavier Grimble, who tested the NFL waters but was not drafted.
Now left with a single player with much experience at the position—Randall Telfer, who has played for the Trojans for three years—tight ends coach Marques Tuiasosopo faced the prospect of opening the 2014 season very light at a position that is critical to the offense that Sarkisian likes to run.
Fortunately for Tuiasosopo, Sark and the Trojans, they still have a seldom-used but potentially great tight end named Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, a player who had worked hard while waiting for his time to shine.
And shine he did during the recently completed spring practice session, so much that he immediately thrust himself into consideration for serious playing time in 2014—and not just because the Trojans are thin at the position.
This slideshow will look at the reasons why Cope-Fitzpatrick should not only get increased playing time but indeed should be a starter this year.
So, will Cope-Fitzpatrick start at tight end for USC in 2014?
He should, and here are the reasons why.