Sark puts tight ends into action

USC junior tight end discusses much larger role in the Trojans new offensive scheme under coach Steve Sarkisian...

USC junior Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick discusses USC spring practices and adjusting to coach Steve Sarkisian's uptempo offense

In 2013, Washington's starting tight end Austin Sefarian-Jenkins finished the season third on the Huskies receptions list catching 36 passes for 450 yards and eight touchdowns in 12 games for UW.

By comparison, USC's starting tight end Xavier Grimble caught 25 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns in 13 games played.

Needless to say, former Washington coach and new USC coach Steve Sarkisian likes to utilize his tight ends in his offense.

USC junior Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, the Trojans only healthy scholarship tight end in spring practices, has become the beneficiary of Sark's play calling.

"I think Jalen is performing very well," Sarkisian said after spring practice on Tuesday. "He is a guy who is a unique player in that he is good at the point of attack, he's good at the short and intermediate routes, but he sneaks up on you down the field."

Cope-Fitzpatrick, 6-foot-4 255-pounds, played in 12 games for the Trojans in 2013 as a backup tight end and on special teams. He caught just one pass for four yards.

He was sidelined for two games with a knee injury.

The early departure of tight end Xavier Grimble to the NFL draft has cleared plenty of space for Cope-Fitzpatrick to make his mark in the Trojans' offense in his third year with the team. He'll compete for time with redshirt senior Randall Telfer and true freshman Bryce Dixon.

Through five spring practices, Cope-Fitzpatrick has been a standout player on USC's offense.

"I think for him, I didn't know him from before, but he showed me a great deal of focus and attention to detail and want to," Sarkisian explained. "That's all you can really ask for as a coach, that a guy gives you that, He's definitely done that."

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