Kelvin Kuo - USA Today Sports

2014 USC Trojan Redshirts: Good or Bad Move by Coach Steve Sarkisian?

Seven USC Trojans redshirted from the 2014 class, did Head Coach Steve Sarkisian make the right decision?

Seven Trojans from the 2014 recruiting class were "redshirted" last season. From the list, who should have contributed during their true freshman season?  

photo of Chris Brown Chris Brown (OT)

Should he have redshirted? Yes 

Brown saw his recruiting stock skyrocket from a relatively unknown to Scout 300 four-star status by the time he signed with USC.  With a loaded and more college-ready 2014 classmates ahead of him on the depth chart, it was the right move to redshirt the former Loyola H.S.(CA) standout. 

photo of Jordan Austin Jordan Austin (OT)

Should he have redshirted? Yes

The studious Austin was the 2014 version of incoming freshman OT Roy Hemsley; raw, but has potential to be a steal in a few years.  

photo of Malik Dorton Malik Dorton (DE)

Should he have redshirted? No

Work with me here.  Any other year, I would have agreed with the coaching staff on redshirting Dorton, but 2014 was no ordinary year.  Allowing a member ... any member ... of the defensive line a rep or ten off could have made the difference between winning or losing at Utah or versus ASU.  A win is worth postponing a redshirt.

photo of Jalen Greene Jalen Greene (WR)

Should he have redshirted? Yes

It's a shame the QB-turned-WR didn't make the switch to wideout a year earlier.  The ultra-athletic Greene could have been light years ahead of the curve heading into the 2015 season.  Speaking of position changes ... Sam Darnold to LB anyone? Too soon? Too soon.

 Don Hill (DE)

Should he have redshirted? Yes

The difference between Dorton and Hill? The level of competition they played in high school.  Malik played in one of the toughest high school divisions in America.  Don Hill played for Timberland H.S (ID).  

photo of Rahshead Johnson Rahshead Johnson (WR)

Should he have redshirted? Yes

Unfortunately for both parties, his time at 'SC was short lived and Johnson will continue his football career at the junior college level.  How should have USC used Johnsons offer?  Fred Warner instantly comes to mind.

photo of Lamont Simmons Lamont Simmons (CB)

Should he have redshirted? No

Redshirting Simmons proved to be a wasted investment. It would be interesting to see if he would have transferred to Georgia Tech if he gained valuable game reps last season. It's hard to say, but it could have made things more difficult for him to leave. 

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RELATED: Bold 2015 USC Redshirt Predictions

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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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