Kirby Lee - USA Today

USC Trojans Football Redshirt Tracker: Bold Preseason Predictions

Which incoming USC Trojans will spend the year "redshirting" for the 2015 football season? Some predictions will surprise you.

With the sanctions complete and the roster nearing normalcy, the USC Trojans can afford to redshirt more incoming players from the 2015 recruiting class.  Who will play? Who will redshirt? One man's bold preseason predictions below.

Preseason Prediction? Will contribute ... a little

Sure, USC is loaded with depth at WR, but if you've been following Dan Weber's practice reports this prediction should not be that surprising to you.  Besides, how much easier will future 'blueshirt' pitches be for Sark and staff when they can point to their poster child with playing time in Deontay Burnett?   

Preseason Prediction? Will contribute ... a little

Ranked as one of the Top-10 freshmen DT's out West, it'll be hard to keep Daniel out of the d-line rotation in the high tempo Pac-12. 

Preseason Prediction: Will redshirt 

If Darnold sees game experience in 2015 either the Trojans entire roster of QB's has been kidnapped or Sam has switched positions and is playing TE in a pinch.   Neither should happen and Darnold will redshirt in 2015. 

Preseason Prediction: Will redshirt 

Someone from the three-person running back class needs to redshirt and the shifty Davis is the most likely candidate.  

Prediction: Will contribute ... a little

Should the five-star from Powder Springs, GA redshirt? You bet your Tyron Smith he should! But taking a page out of the Pete Carroll playbook, five-stars from out-of-state do not ride the pine. Period.  

Preseason Prediction: Will redshirt 

Say what?! Serra HS teammate, Deontay Burnett plays, but the big five-star DT sits out a year? That's crazy talk ... until you realize Rasheem is recovering from offseason surgery.  

Preseason Prediction: Will contribute ... a lot 

Built like a villain in a 'Rocky' film, it's safe to say that Porter's body is college ready and will contribute day-one vs. Arkansas State.  

Preseason Prediction: Will contribute ... a little 

Hampton will need to fight his way into the rotation, but USC rarely signs JC players and it's even rarer when they redshirt one.  De'Quan won't buck that trend.

Preseason Prediction: Will redshirt 

The raw 6'7" OT from Windward HS, CA might look the part, but a combination of solid depth along the offensive line and his small-school background make Hemsley the posterchild for redshirting. 

Preseason Prediction: Will contribute ... a little

Should Houston redshirt?  It would be a luxury to give him a year under the watchful eye of Ivan Lewis and Becci Twombley. Will he? Not a chance. At the very least the former Serra HS all-everything LB will contribute on special teams. 

Preseason Prediction: Will contribute ... a lot

Having seen Noah Jefferson play in person at the Semper Fi Bowl, I have no question he'll be a future "first guy off the bus" candidate. More importantly, Noah will be a consistant contributor on the senior laden USC DL by the time the meat of the schedule kicks in for the Trojans. 

Prediction: Will redshirt

There are just a few sure bets in college football this season.  USC beating Idaho at the Coliseum is one of them.  Clayton redshirting this season is the other.  

Preseason Prediction: Will contribute ... a little

Speaking of betting and college football, this is one prediction I would NOT put money on. Sure he has the explosive film, but if Justin Davis, Tre Madden, James Toland and Soma Vainuku all stay healthy wouldn't it be great to let Jones sit out the year? Who am I kidding? That's not going to happen.  See you on the KOR team, Ronald!

Preseason Prediction: Will contribute ... a little

The sudden transfer of Lamont Simmons to Georgia Tech opens up a hole at the backup CB position forcing Langley to contribute in the "Jonathan Lockett" spot-duty role in 2015.  

Preseason Prediction: Will contribute ... a lot

Even without the transfer of Lamont Simmons, is there any doubt that Biggie wouldn't contribute in 2015 and beyond? In the pass happy Pac-12, Iman will marshall the nickel role in Trojan secondary from the get go. 

Preseason Prediction: Will contribute ... a lot

Osa will follow the Rey Maualuga freshman plan and contribute a ton on special teams and enough in the linebacker rotation his freshman year to set the tone for his All-American career in C&G.  

Preseason Prediction: Will contribute ... a little or perhaps a lot

It really depends less on Tyler and more on those around him. Can Connor Spears play in the Pac-12? (USC is about to find out). Will Bryce Dixon return? (Not likely in 2015.) Will Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick be eligible? (Anything is possible.) Will Taylor McNamara every show up on campus? (Yes.)  Is Cyrus Hobbi really a TE? (On 3rd and inches, you betcha!) Will Caleb Wilson make the transition from QB-to-TE (Eventually.) All these questions lead to Petite seeing playing time during his true-freshman season. How much is the real question. 

Preseason Prediction: Will redshirt

Like his former Loyola HS and fellow Trojan teammate, Chris Brown, before him, Rector will learn the college game from the comfy confines of the practice squad this Fall. 

Preseason Prediction: Will contribute ... a lot

The real question isn't if Ross will contribute. The question we should all ask is where will he contribute. The quick answer ... on defense, offense and special teams. There's a very good reason Ross will be wearing #30 and not #7 his year. 

Preseason Prediction: Will redshirt

Coach O and Lane Kiffin must be wondering what it would be like if they too could spend a valuable scholarship on a high-risk/high-reward prospect like Scott while they ran things at 'SC.  

Preseason Prediction: Will contribute ... a little unless USC is playing Utah or Stanford

Raise your hand if you would have predicted Smith as potentially being the biggest contributor out of the heralded 2015 LB class? Me neither, but nothing like a little Spring Ball to accelerate ones career from surefire practice squad member to likely rotational defender.  Dallas Sartz should be proud of his prodigy. 

Preseason Prediction: Will redshirt

Great news! You can get an early start and ink "Cole Smith - RS Freshman" to your 2016 Trojan football roster today 

Preseason Prediction: Will redshirt

Tell has the potential to make this prediction look silly, but with the versatility of Ykili Ross, Chris Hawkins, John Plattenburg, Leon McQuay III and potentially Iman Marshall in a pinch, the safety position has more than enough capable hands to hold the line this season. 

Preseason Prediction: Will redshirt 

So if Sam Darnold and the entire QB room is kidnapped, then and only then would we see Ricky burn his redshirt. The real question will be who starts at QB for the practice team? 

Preseason Prediction: Will contribute ... a little

Something deep down inside me says Ware will channel his inner Lendale White and play more than his other freshman running back counterparts.  

Preseason Prediction: Will contribute ... a lot 

With the early departure of Nelson Agholor (Philadelphia Eagles) and George Farmer (Dallas Cowboys) to the NFL, the 6'4" WR from Oklahoma will be called upon to stretch the field for Cody Kessler and the high-flying Trojan offense.  

Preseason Prediction: Will redshirt 

Caleb has been a steady contributor during the summer player run practices, but his biggest contribution in 2015 will be on the recruiting trail.  The charismatic incoming freshman will become the player ambassador for the upcoming recruiting class and a vital key to locking down the Serra HS to USC pipeline. (See: Oluwole Betiku

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RELATED: USC Redshirts: Good Move by Coach Sarkisian?

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Casey Cosgrove has been Vice President of Product for Scout since 2014. You can follow him on Twitter at @caseycosgrove.


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