The USC scholarship situation is in a much more stable position thanks to the second full recruiting class following the crippling NCAA sanctions.
During the 2015 season the Trojans had 82 players on scholarship, but that number is a bit deceiving because two of those players were no longer on the team in the fall (Ricky Town and Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick) and five were former walk-ons.
Three of those former walk-ons, kicker Alex Wood, holder Connor Sullivan and receiver Christian Tober, graduated with a year of eligibility remaining and decided to not return to the team.
USC also brought in five blueshirts last season, but only two of the five ended up contributing.
As you can see in our updated Scholarship Distribution Chart USC again has 82 players on scholarship, but there is only one former walk-on (snapper Zach Smith) and the other three blueshirts from last season will have an opportunity to contribute in 2016.
That 82 number is much more solid and with only 14 seniors Clay Helton and the Trojans should be able to easily get up to the 85 scholarship limit for the 2017 season.
Like last year the majority of the scholarship players are underclassmen, with 29 freshmen, 22 sophomores, 17 juniors and just 14 seniors.
A few notes on the Scholarship Distribution Chart:
- The position for Jordan Simmons seems still undetermined at this time. He finished out 2015 as an offensive lineman but there is a much bigger need on defense at this point.
- Scott Felix's official status for 2016 remains "undetermined," according to what a USC representative told us on Monday.
- Michael Brown is listed on the chart as a freshman blueshirt kicker, but he will not be a "counter" until after fall camp starts and he is given a scholarship by the coaching staff.
- USC had six special teams players on scholarship last season and should have four on scholarship this season.
- The Trojans have 13 wide receivers on scholarship.
- With no fullbacks left on the roster, we have removed that category completely.
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