The USC Trojans bottomed out in 2021, going 4-8 in the final year of the mediocre Clay Helton era. Below, we are breaking down the entire USC football 2022 roster.
USC’s athletic department knew it needed to swing for the fences in hiring a new coach, and boy did they ever. The Trojans hired Lincoln Riley away from Oklahoma to revitalize the program. Riley immediately went to work via the transfer portal, landing former Oklahoma QB Caleb Williams, former Pitt standout receiver Jordan Addison and former Oregon tailback Travis Dye.
Riley’s arrival has Trojans fans thinking PAC-12 Championship and perhaps the program’s first College Football Playoff berth. But do the star-laden Trojans have enough depth to reach new heights in year one? Here’s a breakdown of USC’s depth chart.
Caleb Williams, Miller Moss, Mo Hasan
Williams was arguably the biggest transfer of the 2022 offseason after being named 3rd-Team Big 12 as a freshman. He threw for 1,912 yards and 21 touchdowns while rushing for 435 yards and six TDs a year ago. Now, he reunites with Riley to lead USC’s offense. Hasan is the only upperclassman in the quarterback room.
Travis Dye, Austin Jones, Darwin Barlow, Matt Colombo
USC’s running back group is headlined by a one-two punch of PAC-12 transfers. Dye is a redshirt senior who rushed for 1,271 yards and 21 touchdowns last season at Oregon. Jones arrives from Stanford, where he rushed for 378 yards last year. Barlow rushed for 289 yards last season.
Jordan Addison, Tahj Washington, Gary Bryant, Mario Williams, Terrell Bynum, Kyle Ford, Brenden Rice, Malcolm Epps
USC lost standout Drake London, who was the first receiver taken in the 2022 NFL Draft. But Riley replaced him with arguably the best receiver in college football. Addison won the Fred Biletnikoff award last season at Pitt after catching 100 passes for 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns. Washington and Bryant hauled in 98 passes combined last season. And Williams joins Riley and Williams from Oklahoma after catching 35 balls for the Sooners in 2021. This is a deep and talented pass catching unit that could thrive in Riley’s system.
Brett Neilon, Justin Dedich, Andrew Vorhees, Jonah Monheim, Courtland Ford, Andrew Milek, Maximus Gibbs, Gino Quinones, Mason Murphy, Bobby Haskins
USC’s projected starting offensive line brings back 109 career starts and is the most experienced line in the PAC-12, per Phil Steele. While this unit struggled at times in 2021, it should be improved with more experience under its belt.
Nick Figueroa, Stanley Ta’ufo’ou, Tuli Tuipulotu, Solomon Tuliaupupu, Tyrone Taleni, Colin Mobley, Devan Thompkins
USC’s defensive line is rather unheralded but has depth. Only two players return with at least 3.5 sacks a season ago (Tuipulotu and Figueroa). But Thompkins is a highly-touted recruit who could make an impact. And Riley added several transfers to provide more depth. Last year the unit allowed 4.6 yards per rush and recorded just 21 sacks. It’ll have to improve if USC is to have a special season.
Shane Lee, Ralen Goforth, Romello Height, Eric Gentry, Korey Foreman, Raesjon Davis, Tuasivi Nomura
The Trojans lost starting linebackers Kana’I Mauga and Drake Jackson from last year. Unsurprisingly, Riley relied on the transfer portal to address this position, bringing in Lee, Height and Gentry. Lee recorded 89 tackles for 4.5 sacks in 2019 for the Crimson Tide. Goforth returns as last year’s leading tackler, while Foreman moves from the defensive line to linebacker after recording 2.5 sacks as a freshman.
Latrell McCutchin, Mekhi Blackmon, Max Williams, Joshua Jackson, Prophet Brown, Jaylin Smith
USC will replace its two departed starters from 2021 with transfers Latrell McCutchin and Mekhi Blackmon. McCutchin arrives from Oklahoma after recording just nine tackles and one pass breakup. Blackmon comes from Colorado, where he recorded 41 total tackles, four pass breakups and an interception. A unit that struggled against pass defense will need its newcomers to make a significant impact.
Calen Bullock, Bryson Shaw, Briton Allen, Xavion Alford
Alford actually led the team with three interceptions and pass breakups a year ago. He’ll compete with Shaw, who transferred from Ohio State, for the starting free safety position. Bullock is locked in at strong safety after posting 40 tackles, three pass breakups and two picks as a freshman.
K Alex Stadthaus, P Will Rose
USC will replace both of its specialists this season. Stadthaus could have the inside track at the kicking job, as he’s served as USC’s place kicker in the past. He went 6-for-6 on field goals and 11-for-11 on PATs when forced to relieve Parker Lewis. USC will have a punting competition between the redshirt junior Rose and the redshirt sophomore Michael McAllister.