Finishing up spring . . . the offense

Player by player, we look to the final 3 weeks of USC's spring for the Trojans offense.

In our third and final installment previewing USC's three-week return to the end of spring this afternoon, we take a look at the offense here. Steve Sarkisian has said, the Trojans' two-tiered spring football sessions, before and after spring break, give them -- and us -- a two-for-one here. Maybe never more so than for the offense.

Here are our previous looks at USC's Special Teams and the Defense after the first two weeks and six spring sessions.

Now we look ahead at how we'd like to see the next three weeks play out for each of the offensive unit players as USC figures out who is ready -- not to mention willing and able -- to step up and play. Not all the walkon guys are here if we don't think we know enough to say about them yet. Maybe after spring.



*** Jordan Austin: Get healthy. Get stronger. Grow into your place on this team for another year. No hurry here.

*** Zach Banner: Become a dominant player -- play after play after play. Keep the weight below 350.

*** Chris Brown: Make them notice you and find a place for yourself as you mature physically.

*** Chuma Edoga: Just keep doing what you're doing the way you're doing it. There's a place on this team for a freshman with your technique and toughness.

*** Nico Falah: You've made some big moves getting healthy and standing out a bit from the crowd trying to move up. Now make it happen.

*** Roy Hemsley: With your size, and early arrival, just take the time to figure it all out as you develop the skill set to be ready to hit the field in another year or so.

*** Erick Jepsen: Another of the senior walkons so valuable to this program the last few years, do your thing every day in practice making this team better.

*** Toa Lobendahn: First, find your position. Looks like left tackle for now. Then grow into it, literally and figuratively, as a second-year starter far more seasoned than a normal first-year guy who arrived last spring.

*** Damien Mama: Keep trimming down. That 360 pounds looks good on you, helps you pulling and with your initial punch, which has always been your signature move.

*** Khaliel Rodgers: Be ready. Guard or center, learn 'em both and be that guy who can step in wherever he's needed without a hitch because he knows the position.

*** Jordan Simmons: Now that you're healthy, get in the kind of shape that will allow you to show what you can do. The talent and the physicality are there. It's time.

*** Viane Talamaivao: At 323 pounds, you're right about where you need to be. Now stay focused. You're a veteran and may have to be able to play two positions.

*** Max Tuerk: Keep taking these guys where they have to go and get comfortable snapping and moving. Oh, and keep eating even if 12,000 calories a day sounds an almost impossible task even for dedicated eaters. You want to be able to play at 295. That'll get you there -- and keep you there.

*** Chad Wheeler: Get your knee right and get yourself back as you keep working this spring for a summer/fall return. As with Max, keep your weight above 290 and use this to get your upper body caught up with your big base.


*** Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick: First, get yourself in good shape academically then fight your way back and make them look your way again. It's obvious how much this team needs you.

*** Bryce Dixon: Get your "student conduct issue" resolved, stay in shape and keep hitting the books. Stay as much a part of the team and as engaged as you can as you work this all out.

*** Connor Spears: Do what you've been doing. You may be a walkon transfer from Columbia but this doesn't look too big for you. Just keep on keeping on as you add some upper body strength to your 6-6, 240-pound frame.


*** Ajene Harris: Find your place. Stay healthy. You almost got there a year ago but couldn't stay on the field week to week. That's the key for you.

*** Adoree Jackson:: Make your limited time on offense -- although not as limited as last fall -- pay off here. Although when it comes down to it, no one seems to balance so many things so well as you do going from a three-way football player to a two-event track and field guy this spring.

*** George Katrib: Now that you're a senior with a scholarship, keep on doing what a number of valuable wide receiver onetime walkons have done with all they bring to the practice field -- and special teams (20 tackles as a cover guy).

***Robbie Kolanz: It takes a lot of players running a lot of routes to make this all work. USC couldn't do it without walkons like you who know what they're doing and go out and do it every day.

*** David Mellstrom: Another valuable senior receiver and walkon transfer from Virginia Tech. Just keep making plays the way you have in practice.

*** Aaron Minor: It gets repetitive here to talk of playmaking walkons who can wow us at practice but you're one who already has this spring. Would have been hard to practice some days without Aaron & Co.

*** Steven Mitchell: No advice for you. You're clearly back and know what you have to do. Just keep doing it. And stay healthy. You're a difference-maker.

*** Darreus Rogers: Use those great hands every chance you get. Total focus here. Be that dependable guy the QB's never can ignore.

*** Juju Smith: Last fall, you were the way-ahead-of-his-time-in-every-way freshman. Now you step into territory populated by Robert Woods, Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor as the No. 1 guy and team leader. Shouldn't be too big a step for you.

*** Christian Tober: No better way to finish up this position than with a tough, dependable and dedicated walkon senior who seems to make a play every day and makes this USC team much better for you're having been here.


*** Justin Davis: This is your time and you know it. All the sharing carries is in the past. You'll get as many as you can handle, and plenty of passes your way. Show what you can do when you get to be the guy.

*** Tre Madden: It has to be hard to wait your time and get that foot healthy. But as Sark says, USC doesn't play for nearly six months. That's when USC will need you. Just be ready by then.

*** Jahleel Pinner: Big back, outlet receiver. You can do both at a position that may be getting phased out after you. But get the most out of it while it lasts.

*** Stefan Smith: We're noticing you and with the numbers this spring, you should keep getting your chances. No surprise. Walkons who have been so valuable at other thin positions matter here as well.

*** James Toland IV: The way you've played the last two seasons, it almost doesn't feel right to call you a walkon -- and maybe we won't have to in the near future.

*** Soma Vainuku: This could be your time. USC needs a big back this spring. This O-line needs to get used to playing the power game and you've been able to step in make that happen. The more you do it, the more you maybe won't be just the special teams star as a senior in the fall.


***Michael Bowman: A freshman walkon from Pasadena, you look like you belong and that's the first requirement. You can never have too many arms.

*** Max Browne: Trust your arm. Don't force things. You're getting there. Get comfortable and be ready. Your time will come.

*** Jalen Greene: Hang in there at quarterback. You have lots of upside. Stay on top of the ball when you deliver it. Stay disciplined. You give USC something no one else can.

*** Cody Kessler: Find your comfort zone with all your receivers. Trust them to be there and let yourself deliver the ball before they cut. And as well as you throw the ball on the run, mix in, as you have, a time or two to run the ball on the run. Could be very effective.

*** Conner Sullivan: Right-handed and left-handed holder, quarterback, running back, receiver . . . Is there anything you can't do? One of USC's most valuable players who people don't know. Hard to imagine a program getting more out of a walkon.

*** Ricky Town: Take your time to get up to speed. You can throw it and deliver the ball as smoothly and efficiently as any veteran. Now take a year to figure it all out. Good start thus far.

*** Larry Tuileta: Haven't seen much of you except on video -- and as a volleyball guy. But you're a big-time athlete and keep the Hawai'i pipeline going. Have fun with your second sport.

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