Kelvin Kuo - USA Today

USC Trojans Football 2015 Redshirts: Predictions Reckoning

Did USC wisely develop their #1 ranked 2015 recruiting class? Find out who should have redshirted as we revisit our 2015 bold predictions.

Before the 2015 season kicked off, there were some bold redshirt predictions for the #1 ranked 2015 USC Trojan football class.   It’s scorecard time!  How did each prediction pan out?  Was it the right move by the former staff?

Deontay Burnett (WR)

'15 Prediction: Will contribute ... a little
Scorecard:  Nailed it! 
Stats: 12 GP for 10 REC, 161 YDS, 0 TD
Good Move?  Yes and for two reasons; the Notre Dame game and blue shirt PR.  Similar to Matt Cassel for QB’s, Deontay could be the posterchild for blue shirts at ‘SC moving forward.

Jacob Daniel (DT)

Prediction: Will contribute ... a little
Scorecard: Two-for-two.
Stats: 3 GP for 3 TKL/0 SCK
Good Move?  Yes. With an opening battle against the defending National Champs, Alabama, the young d-line needed all the experience they could get. 

Sam Darnold (QB)

Prediction: Will redshirt
Scorecard:  The biggest layup of the class. Three-for-three.
Stats: DNP
Good Move? Is this a trick question? Next.

Dominic Davis (RB)

Prediction: Will redshirt
Scorecard:  Can’t win them all.  The speedy Davis contributed in all 14 games as a poor mans Adoree’ Jackson
Stats: 14 GP for 14 RUSH, 77 YDS + 7 REC, 102 YDS
Good Move? No.  Davis showed explosiveness in limited touches, but was it necessary with so many weapons and only one football to go around? 

Chuma Edoga (OT)

Prediction:  Will contribute … a little.
Scorecard: Back into the win column at 4-1.
Stats: 13 GP (2 starts)
Good Move? Without a doubt, yes.  The freshman flashed between the rookie moments at right tackle, giving the new staff plenty of film and fodder to get the five-star from Georgia ready to challenge for more playing time in 2016.

Rasheem Green (DT)

Prediction: Will redshirt
Scorecard:  Ask UCLA QB, Josh Rosen, if Rasheem took a redshirt. 
Stats:  14 GP for 19 TKL, 0.5 SCK, 1 TD
Good Move? Great move! Green recovered from a lingering high school knee injury and showed why he was a highly rated five-star our of USC pipeline, Serra H.S. (Gardena, CA).

Porter Gustin (DE)

Prediction: Will contribute … a lot
Scorecard:  Easy as predicting a Serra H.S. five-star to USC.  
Stats: 14 GP, 2 starts for 25 TKL, 5.5 SCK
Good Move? Excellent move.  He played in all 14 games for the Trojans and showed at times why he was so highly sought after recruit coming out of Salem, UT.   

De’Quan Hampton (WR)

Prediction:  Will contribute … a little.
Scorecard: Define “a little”. 
Stats: 12 GP for 15 REC, 165 YDS, 0 TD
Good Move? Yes, though production was disappointing.  There’s no need to redshirt a JC player outside of injury at USC.  Play them immediately or don’t recruit them in the first place.

OL Roy Hemsley (OT), Clayton Johnston (OT) and Cole Smith (OC)

Prediction: Will redshirt
Scorecard: Consider picking offensive linemen 'free money'. 
Stats: DNP
Good Move? Anytime you can redshirt a lineman on either side of the ball it’s a great move.  Just ask Matt Kalil and Tyron Smith.

John Houston (DE)

Prediction:  Will redshirt
Scorecard:  The back injury made this a slam-dunk. 
Stats: DNP
Good Move? Absolutely.  There was pressure to play the local five-star early, but a back problem has kept the Serra H.S. product from being rushed onto the field.  The bigger question is will he be able to contribute in 2016 or does the back injury continue to haunt him?

Noah Jefferson (DT)

Prediction: Will contribute … a lot.
Scorecard:   Yes, this prediction was on target. 
Stats: 14 GP (1 Start) for 23 TKL, 0 SCK
Good Move? Noah played in all 14 games, chipping in 23 tackles, and more importantly providing a large body to rotate in the two-deep on the line.  

Ronald Jones (RB)

Prediction: Will contribute … a little.
Scorecard: Correct, but the ‘a little’ was a lot off.  Ronald Jones became the “lightning” to Justin Davis’ “thunder” in the Trojans talented backfield, breaking Charles Whites’ freshman rushing yards record.
Stats: 14 GP for 153 ATT, 887 YRS, 8 TDs + 7 REC, 39 YRDS, 1 TD
Good Move? Does Marcus Allen have a Heisman?  Of course it was a good move. No, a great move!

Isaiah Langley (CB)

Prediction: Will contribute … a little
Scorecard:  Dead on. Langley provided depth to a young cornerback group and more importantly allowed Adoree’ the opportunity to contribute more on offense and special teams. 
Stats: 11 GP for 12 TKL, 0 INT
Good Move?  While I do like the idea of giving Adoree’ more opportunities on O, Langley was one of the few freshman who I’d like to see spend a year in Ivan Lewis’ S&C program before playing in a game. 

Tyler Petite (TE)

Prediction: Will contribute … a little or perhaps a lot
Scorecard:  Tyler contributed, but like all the TE’s far less than he could have if USC integrated the tight end position more. 
Stats: 14 GP (1 Start) for 15 REC, 145 YRD, 1 TD
Good Move? Based on the talent and depth chart at TE for USC in 2015, absolutely a great move. 

Ykili Ross (S)

Prediction: Will contribute … a little.  
Scorecard: Whiff!  Ross was the most surprising redshirt of 2015.  At the very least, the expectation was for Ykili to contribute on special teams. 
Stats: DNP
Good Move?  Yes, based on the development of Marvell Tell and the nagging injuries to Ross, the redshirt last year was warranted.  

DL Christian Rector and Kevin Scott  

Prediction: Will redshirt
Scorecard:  Too easy, of course the raw freshman defensive linemen on a team loaded with fifth-year seniors were going to redshirt. 
Stats: DNP
Good Move?   Anytime you can redshirt pair of defensive linemen, you’re doing the right thing in the program.

Cameron Smith (ILB)

Prediction: Will contribute … a little unless USC is playing Utah or Stanford.
Scorecard:  Technically correct, Cam did not redshirt, but about that ‘a little unless' comment…  
Stats: 10 GP for 78 TKL, 1 SCK, 3 INT (1 TD)
Good Move? Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year. Next Trojan. 

Marvell Tell (S)

Prediction: Will redshirt
Scorecard:  Far from the truth.  Tell was on track to being one of the pivotal freshman contributors until a broken collarbone versus Utah caused him to miss the next four games.  
Stats: 10 GP (2 starts), 36 TKL, 0 INT
Good Move?  Absolutely a good move.  The bigger surprise is how Tell broke ahead in the safety rotation that included an experienced pair in John Plattenburg and Leon McQuay.  

Osa Masina (DE)

Prediction: Will contribute
Scorecard: Easy prediction, but is it possible to expect more from a freshman who contributed 25 tackles? 
Stats: 12 GP for 25 TKL, 1 TD, 0 SCK
Good Move?  Yes, but the expectation was for more meaningful minutes as the season progressed not less. It'll be interesting to see how the young LB from Utah develops under DC Clancy Pendergast. 

Aca’Cedric Ware (RB)

Prediction: Will contribute … a little.
Scorecard:  He contributed … a little. 
Stats: 9 GP for 12 ATT, 36 YDS, 1 TD
Good Move? Not at all.  When you are fifth on the depth chart that includes two other freshman running backs it makes little sense to burn a redshirt. 

Isaac Whitney (WR)

Prediction: Will contribute … a lot.
Scorecard: The JC transfer was on the verge of becoming a consistent contributor before a collarbone injury derailed his first season at 'SC.
Stats: GP 5 for 8 REC, 112 YDS, 2 TD
Good Move?  Absolutely.  His stats might not show it, but the speedy WR from Moore, OK was just starting to grasp the Trojan offense before the injury.  He could be a surprise breakout candidate this upcoming fall. 

Final Prediction Scorecard:  20-4 in the win column.  Prediction a class that is joining a team coming off of sanctions with plenty of playing time to be had was easy.  Predicting this incoming USC Trojan football class that's joining a young but experienced roster is a much larger challenge.

2015 USC Redshirts (8) 

  1. Sam Darnold (QB)
  2. John Houston (DE)
  3. Roy Hemsley (OT)
  4. Clayton Johnston (OT)
  5. Christian Rector (DE)
  6. Ykili Ross (S)
  7. Kevin Scott (DT)
  8. Cole Smith (OC)


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

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