Sticking with Harris

Even after cornerback Torin Harris found himself sidelined during much of fall camp with a hamstring injury, Coach Lane Kiffin said he was confident in Harris ability to be a playmaker. That thought still stands, but the USC coach is now looking for other options...

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Five games into the season and the Trojans' continue to look for a cornerback to play opposite of Nickell Robey.

They say he has to have confidence, has to have swagger, and most importantly has to have the ability to make plays.

Despite sitting out a couple of weeks of fall camp due to injury, Coach Lane Kiffin said Torin Harris was their guy. Kiffin said he saw things on film about Harris' game that lead him to believe he had the talent to be as good as, if not better, than Robey.

It was a bold statement given Robey's skill. Now five games into the season, Harris has shown he might not fit the bill.

Opposing teams continue to exploit Harris and throw to his side of the field, completing explosive plays, often in the end zone.

Following the win at Utah, Kiffin said the Trojans still hadn't found an answer to the position. He even rotated freshman Kevon Seymour into the game. It didn't yield any better results.

So, this week at practice, safety Josh Shaw was inserted. He wasn't expected to win a starting role after only a week of in-season reps at the spot and he didn't, but he may prove to be a go-to option.

"I think he's a bigger corner that's long and physical and can tackle," Kiffin said of Shaw's ability to play the position. "So obviously, that's a good thing."

Despite Shaw's potential upside, Kiffin will once again go with Harris on Saturday, as the Trojans face arguably the best quarterback they've seen this season in Washington's Keith Price.

"We think Torin is going to continue to improve," Kiffin said after practice on Thursday. "As we know, he missed a lot of time, so hopefully this week he shows some improvement."

Secondary Coach Marvin Sanders echoes Kiffin's thoughts on Harris, saying they still expect him to be the player they've always thought he was, "I've got to understand, as a coach, that he's been limited because of some injuries," Sanders said after practice this week. "I've got to continue to work to help him to get better. We have done a lot of work on that in the past couple weeks."

"We really have confidence in Torin," Sanders continued. "I think he's going to continue to get better as the season goes on. As a staff, we have complete confidence in Torin."

Saturday will show if Harris still has confidence in himself.

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