LOS ANGELES — Amidst USC Football’s lost season, there is still reason for optimism about the program’s future. Namely, new players who have started showing signs of potential during the first half of the 2021 season. Here’s a look at six newcomers, who look to the rest of the schedule as they look toward 2022.
s callen bullock
When safety Isaiah Pola-Mao missed the season opener after testing positive for COVID-19, USC sidelined the more experienced options on the roster to start Bullock. The true freshman showed why, leading the team with eight tackles. In his limited role since then, Bullock has made just 12 tackles in five games, but should get more opportunities later in the season.
QB Jackson Dart
Due to his meniscus injury, Dart has only played one game this season, but it was a tantalizing start for USC: 30-for-46 passing for 391 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions from a Trojan coming-on. – Behind the victory over Washington State. When he comes back to full recovery, Dart may have more time to show his dual-threat ability and courageous approach to playing quarterback.
de kore foreman
Foreman’s play has not lived up to the hype of his status as a five-star rookie, as he often appears to be a loser on the field. But he broke with his first career dismissal against Utah last weekend and may be ready to take the next step in his development this year after being nominated after spring camp.
“They use me when they need to use me and we just take it there. I do my best,” Foreman said. “If I break my[butt]every single rep or every single exercise or every single day, every time in the weight room, I’m just waiting for them to call my number and when they call my number. But if you call, the rest is history.”
ol jonah monheim
A redshirt freshman who is a young to second-year player, Monheim has started all six games this season with perfect tackle. While there have been some growing pains, particularly in pass blocking, Monheim has given reason to believe he could be a veteran in the USC front five for years to come.
“He may be the best run blocker on the offensive line,” said offensive coordinator Graham Harrell.
S Jaylin Smith
It’s been a rough year for the entire USC secondary, but Smith has stood firm in his limited opportunities. He got a sack against Washington State and a blockage against Oregon State and has been reliable in pass coverage.
Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando said Smith and linebacker Racejon Davis are the two young players he’d like to see in Thursday’s underclassmen scrimmage, earning more time, adding that “if they deserve to play, on other guys, they Going to play.
te michael trig
The 6-foot-4, 245-pound freshman showed off his raw athleticism and strength during fall training camp, but the general consensus was that he needed a better understanding of the playbook to make an impact this season. Against Colorado, he showed he was getting ready for that role with two catches for 51 yards and a touchdown.