Defensive Back post-spring review

When it comes to defense, the Trojans have plenty of it. The USC offense will look to add a few new weapons to its arsenal, making the production on the defensive side of the ball even more important. This group has the potential to be one of the best ever at SC, and the secondary will play a large role in that.

Taylor Mays - So. - Take one look at Mays, and its easy to see why he could easily be mistaken for one of the Trojans current All-American linebackers. Mays, who had a breakout freshman campaign, really took his game to another level in the spring, building off a very impressive freshman season. The mammoth sized safety prospect, who recently clocked a 4.28 in the 40 yard dash, made an effort to become one of the vocal leaders of the defense. The Seattle product demonstrated his incredible athleticism when he caught wide receiver Travon Patterson from behind as he took off down the sideline toward the end zone. The situation at safety will become very interesting with the return of Josh Pinkard, but with the way Mays has been playing, he is making it awfully difficult for the coaches to hand Pinkard back his starting job.

Cary Harris - Jr. - Harris has come a long way since he was first placed in the starting line-up following an injury to Kevin Thomas. Harris, who reportedly clocked a 4.3 in the 40 yard dash, really looked to elevate his game in the spring, and did just that. The Notre Dame HS graduate has shown that along with his speed, he will come up and deliver the blow. Harris' improvement over the spring bolsters an already deep unit, and look for Harris and Kevin Thomas to continue to rotate at the corner spot opposite always reliable Terrell Thomas.

Will Harris - So. - It was really great to see Harris out there running with the team for the first time in a long while. Harris, who has been plagued with injuries since his arrival at SC, did not participate in all aspects of spring, as the coaches will look to gradually get him back up to speed while he recovers. The Charter Oak product was very highly regarded during his freshman campaign, and will push for some valuable playing time behind Mays, Pinkard, and Ellison. Harris can also play either corner spot if an injury were to occur, making his value even higher.

Shareece Wright - So. - Wright has been improving since he arrived on campus, and this spring was no different. Wright saw plenty of action this spring with Kevin Thomas and Terrell Thomas out with injuries, and looked good doing so. Wright is definitely a physical cornerback, and gained valuable experience this spring taking the amount of reps he did. Wright will look to earn playing time however he can, including being a very important member of the Trojans special teams unit.

Vincent Joseph - So. - When it comes to swagger and attitude, you would be hard pressed to find another defensive back on the Trojan roster with the same mentality as Joseph. Joseph is a vocal player, making his presence felt wherever he goes. The Long Beach native also saw his reps dramatically increase due to injuries, and made the most of his opportunities. Joseph has played a very important part on special teams, and will add valuable depth at the corner position.

Mozique McCurtis - Sr. - There may not be a more versatile player in the secondary then McCurtis, who has seen action at nearly every spot. McCurtis continued to see time at cornerback and safety this spring, although it was at safety where he made his presence felt most. The Grossmont Junior College transfer had one of the more memorable plays of the spring when he delivered a bone crushing hit to Fred Davis in the end zone, causing Davis to drop the potential touchdown catch. McCurtis will continue to see time at the nickel spot come fall, although his minutes will clear up as soon as the secondary returns to health.

Alfred Rowe - So. - Rowe has been relatively quiet since his arrival at SC, but got to see a good amount of time this spring as a result of injuries. And although the "wow" factor may be lacking from Rowe's game, he will continue to add needed depth in the secondary.

Josh Pinkard, Terrell Thomas, Kevin Thomas, and Kevin Ellison each saw very limited action this spring, as all four hope to be fully recovered when the Trojans pick things back up.

The Trojans will only add one player in the secondary as result of the 2007 recruiting class, and that is Oaks Christian HS (CA.) safety Marshall Jones. Incoming freshman Ronald Johnson will begin his career in the cardinal & gold on offense, although a switch to defense has not completely been ruled out.


USCFootball.com Top Stories