USC Football: 5 Players Turning Heads Early at Fall Practice
The all-important fall practice session is now underway as USC prepares for its first season under new head coach Steve Sarkisian.
It will be during this camp when Sark and his staff make their final determinations regarding the depth chart the Trojans will enter the 2014 season with, so there is much at stake for players looking to position themselves on the depth chart this year.
There have already been major changes to the roster—tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick has been ruled academically ineligible, and others are changing positions looking to see the field of play for the men of Troy.
This slideshow will take a look at some of the Trojans who are making a splash early on and offer some commentary on their efforts in the final practice sessions before the start to this season.
Who is turning heads early this fall?
Read on to find out.
Running Back D.J. Morgan Has a New Position
This slide isn't so much about a player turning heads but rather a running back who saw he would need to change positions to both help the team and increase his chances for playing time.
D.J. Morgan has battled injuries throughout his USC career, and coming back from yet another knee problem, Scout.com's Lindsey Thiry is reporting (subscription required) that Morgan will be switching to safety for his senior campaign with the Trojans.
Morgan played defensive back in high school, and with USC needing to bolster a thin safety unit this year, he will try to find some playing time behind Su'a Cravens, Leon McQuay and Gerald Bowman.
Exactly how much Morgan can contribute in his new position remains to be seen, but every good Trojan fan should be rooting for the snake-bitten senior.
Adoree' Jackson Is Seeing the Field on Both Sides of the Ball
It should come as no surprise for those who followed his high school career, but true freshman Adoree' Jackson is really, really good.
As such, Jackson is getting reps at cornerback and on offense, and he is turning heads wherever he plays.
Look for the dynamic Jackson to continue to get reps on both sides of the ball—this will continue when the season gets underway.
Kevon Seymour Is Slowly Recovering from His Illness
Cornerback Kevon Seymour is turning heads in fall camp, but not for the right reasons.
Scout.com's Dan Weber is reporting (subscription required) that Seymour—who has been battling a recent illness—has lost a lot of weight and will require time to get back to playing shape.
Seymour is expected to start opposite Josh Shaw at cornerback, so getting healthy as soon as possible will be crucial for young Kevon.
Bryce Dixon Is Looking Good so Far
With the disappointing news that tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick will be lost for the season due to academic woes, USC is now left with two scholarship players at the position.
One of those scholarship tight ends is Bryce Dixon, and the true freshman will be counted on to play some meaningful minutes in 2014.
According to his head coach, the signs are encouraging that Dixon will be able to provide quality play this year.
Sarkisian is quoted by ESPN.com's Garry Paskwietz: "Bryce is plenty good to be able to play for us this fall. I watched him out there today and he did everything you would hope to see."
For the sake of Sark's two-tight end offense, Dixon had better be good to go, but it is a tall order for such a young player.
JuJu Smith Is Making a Big Impression so Far in Camp
While Adoree' Jackson has gotten most of the accolades so far in fall camp, John "JuJu" Smith has also had a strong start in the early part of these practice sessions.
Playing wide receiver, Smith has shown good speed and excellent hands as he becomes accustomed to the pace of the college game.
At 6'2", 210 pounds, Smith could provide some quality minutes rotating in as a big receiver.
Although it is still very early in this fall practice camp, there appears to be a tone in place that will carry the Trojans not only through the rest of these practice sessions, but throughout the season as well.
With the Trojans practicing at a tempo that could only be described as "intense," Sark is setting a course that will serve them well when they play for keeps.
Though it is still early, there are already players distinguishing themselves, and the coaching staff will be looking for more players to step up during Sarkisian's inaugural season.
If the start of this camp is any indication, USC should be fine in 2014.
And with the sanctions finally gone for the Trojans, the best is yet to come.
Follow me on Twitter: @RickMcMahan
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