Spring battles: tight end

The biggest surprise at spring practice at the tight end position most likely won't be a personnel move, but seeing if the future NFL caliber players will be incorporated more into the Trojans' offense...

Xavier Grimble, RS junior
Xavier Grimble was listed as a co-starter throughout 2012 alongside Randall Telfer and that isn't expected to change in 2013. A strong blocker, Grimble also proved his ball skills in 2012. He was third on the team in receptions with 29 for 316-yards including five touchdowns.

Randall Telfer, RS junior
As mentioned, Randall Telfer was listed as a co-starter throughout 2012 with Xavier Grimble. Telfer did spend time sidelined over the season with an unspecified ankle injury suffered against Utah. Like Grimble, he also found himself the target of quarterback Matt Barkley, with 12 receptions -- four of them in the end zone.

Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, sophomore
Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick now moves into his sophomore season with the Trojans. While he is expected to remain behind Telfer and Grimble on the depth chart, this could be a significant spring for his development. Both Grimble and Telfer are more than capable of leaving for the NFL after the 2013 season, which will leave the door wide-open for Cope-Fitzpatrick. He should be able to lockdown the third spot on the depth chart this spring, leaving room for potential playing time in big-lead situations or if Grimble or Telfer are unavailable.

Christian Thomas, redshirt junior
Christian Thomas suffered a hip injury in 2011 and was sidelined after having surgery. He was plagued once again by an injury riddled 2012. His biggest challenge this spring will be proving he can remain healthy enough to compete.

Junior Pomee, redshirt sophomore
Junior Pomee was recently arrested on felony burglary charges and has been since suspended from all team activities until further notice. A source says he suspects Pomee to removed from the team.

My Prediction: No surprises here, Grimble and Telfer will be the top two guys and Cope-Fitzpatrick will be third in the rotation -- preparing him for a future without the two NFL-esque ends.

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