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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Southern California
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  When Alijah Vera-Tucker slid over to left tackle last season, stepping into a spot vacated by an NFL draft first-rounder, there was little doubt that USC's top interior lineman was its best option on the blindside. A year later, with Vera-Tucker now also bound for the first round, the top option to replace him isn't anywhere near as clear. As USC opens spring practice next Tuesday, there's no bigger question mark than the one at left tackle, where four candidates have begun to state their case, but no obvious one has emerged through offseason workouts.

The most experienced of those four is already tentatively slated at right tackle. Jalen McKenzie will enter this season as one of the Trojans' most experienced linemen and will be "in the mix" to switch to left tackle, coach Clay Helton said. But Helton also spoke highly of the three freshman linemen who emerged last season on the fringe of the Trojans' rotation up front. "Courtland Ford has had a dynamic spring the last eight weeks," Helton said. "He's shown his athleticism. We'll take a look at him. Jonah Monheim also played left tackle in high school and helped play in a couple games last year. We'll also take a look at him. And Casey Collier is really coming on. 6-9, 317-pound athlete that's really developed a lot of core strength. We'll end up taking a look at him." - Los Angeles Times


(DS#16 OT) rSr/2022 OT Jalen McKenzieSouthern California
News Source: Los Angeles Times
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  Matt Fink, the backup quarterback who came off the bench to pilot one of the Trojans' most impressive wins in recent memory, plans to move on from USC, a person familiar with the decision confirmed to The Times. A redshirt senior last year, Fink could've returned for a sixth season of eligibility in 2021 with all athletes granted an additional year by the NCAA because of the pandemic. Instead, after five seasons and one start under center at USC, Fink will pursue other opportunities after earning his master's degree from USC this spring. - Los Angeles Times

(DS#999 QB) rSr/2021 QB Matt FinkSouthern California
News Source: Los Angeles Times
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  Running back Keaontay Ingram is transferring from Texas to Southern California. USC confirmed the latest addition to its backfield Tuesday. Ingram rushed for 1,811 yards over the past three seasons with the Longhorns, making 18 starts. After starting all 13 games and racking up 853 yards and seven touchdowns in 2019, he rushed for 250 yards in six games last season while struggling with an ankle injury. Ingram is leaving Austin after freshman Bijan Robinson emerged as Texas' starting tailback late in the season and coach Tom Herman was replaced by Steve Sarkisian in the offseason. - AP College Football

(DS#6 RB) Sr/2022 RB Keaontay IngramSouthern California
News Source: AP College Football
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  USC's top safety already declared for the NFL draft. Its top cornerback joined him soon after that announcement. But Friday, one key piece of the Trojans secondary proclaimed his intent to return for his final season. Safety Isaiah Pola-Mao, who served as one of USC's captains last season, officially announced he will lead the Trojans defense again in 2021. - Los Angeles Times

(DS#4 FS) rSr/2022 FS Isaiah Pola-MaoSouthern California
News Source: Los Angeles Times
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  Former Colorado receiver KD Nixon has found a new home - and he will get a chance to beat the Buffaloes next fall. On Friday afternoon, Nixon announced that he has committed to Southern California as a graduate transfer. Nixon entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal earlier this month after four seasons with the Buffaloes. The 5-foot-8, 190-pound Nixon ranks 19th in CU history in career catches (99) and receiving yards (1,221), while adding seven touchdowns. He also had five catches for 39 yards in the Valero Alamo Bowl last month, numbers that CU doesn't count in its career totals. - Daily Camera

(DS#51 WR) rSr/2022 WR K.D. NixonSouthern California
News Source: Daily Camera
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  Memphis wide receiver Tahj Washington stepped into a bigger role after Damonte Coxie opted out in October. Now he's a freshman All-American. Washington was named to the Football Writers Association of America's Freshman All-American Team on Monday. He was second on the team with 743 yards and third with 43 catches and six touchdowns. Washington played in all 11 games with 10 starts. He had three 100-yard games, including a career-high 131 yards in the Tigers' comeback win over UCF. His 52-yard catch-and-run on 4th down set up the Tigers' go-ahead score with 1:08 left. - Memphis Commercial Appeal

(DS#59 WR) rSo/2024 WR Tahj WashingtonSouthern California
News Source: Memphis Commercial Appeal
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  Texas running back Keaontay Ingram, an 1,800 yard career rusher, has put his name in the NCAA transfer portal, multiple recruiting sites reported late Thursday. Ingram, with 32 games and 18 career starts on his resume, becomes the first major test case for a player transfer under new UT coach Steve Sarkisian. Former coach Tom Herman had a way of talking players into staying after they put their name in the portal. Sarkisian's goal in the early days of his tenure is to get to know as many people as possible affiliated with the program.

Herman's running backs coach, Stan Drayton, is expected to stay on with Sarkisian. Ingram was also competing for playing time with freshman Bijan Robinson and sophomore Roschon Johnson. Ingram was a central figure the last three seasons. The all-state athlete from Carthage rushed for 708 yards as a freshman in 2018, 853 yards as a sophomore and 250 yards last season. He missed the last four games after suffering an ankle injury at Oklahoma State on Halloween. - Austin American Statesman


(DS#6 RB) Sr/2022 RB Keaontay IngramSouthern California
News Source: Austin American Statesman
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  Texas Longhorns senior running back Keaontay Ingram has entered the NCAA transfer portal, according to a report from 247Sports on Thursday evening. Rumors first surfaced about Ingram's future in the program in early December and the continued rise of Bijan Robinson at the end of his freshman season likely contributed to the decision by Ingram. A 6'0, 222-pounder, Ingram was the team's fourth-leading rusher in 2020 with 53 carries for 250 yards and a rushing touchdown he scored against the Cowboys on his last carry of the season one play after suffering a high ankle sprain. Out of the backfield, Ingram had 11 catches for 103 yards and a touchdown, but he was slowed by a preseason hamstring injury and then the ankle injury that sidelined him for the final four games. - Burnt Orange Nation

(DS#6 RB) Sr/2022 RB Keaontay IngramSouthern California
News Source: Burnt Orange Nation
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  Colorado receiver KD Nixon is looking to play his final year of college football elsewhere. Nixon has entered the NCAA transfer portal and could play at another school as a graduate transfer next fall. Although he was a senior this season, all players have been granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA because of the coronavirus pandemic. Entering the portal doesn't necessarily mean Nixon will leave CU, but it allows him to explore opportunities at other schools. Nixon, who has earned his bachelor's degree, ranks 19th in CU history in career catches (99) and receiving yards (1,221), while adding seven touchdowns. He also had five catches for 39 yards in the Valero Alamo Bowl last month, numbers that CU doesn't count in its career totals. - Daily Camera

(DS#51 WR) rSr/2022 WR K.D. NixonSouthern California
News Source: Daily Camera
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  2020 PAC-12 MORRIS TROPHY WINNER: USC junior offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker has been named the offensive winner of the 2020 Morris Trophy, presented annually to the Pac-12's outstanding offensive and defensive linemen by the Washington Athletic Club. The Morris Trophy winners are selected by their peers. Pac-12 defensive players vote for the offensive winner and offensive players choose the defensive winner. Vera-Tucker is USC's first Morris Trophy winner since offensive tackle Matt Kalil in 2011. He is USC's 17th overall Morris Trophy winner since the program began in 1980 (and Troy's 13th offensive winner). Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux was the 2020 Morris Trophy's defensive recipient. - USC Football

(DS#2 OG) rJr/2021 OG *Alijah Vera-TuckerSouthern California
News Source: USC Football
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  Just two days after USC's top receiver declared for the draft, another Trojans wideout is on his way to the NFL. Tyler Vaughns will forego the additional year of eligibility offered by the NCAA because of the pandemic and declare for the draft, departing from USC after four seasons in which he finished third on USC's all-time receptions list. Only Robert Woods and Marqise Lee finished their USC careers with more catches than Vaughns' 222. In a deep receiver draft class, Vaughns is likely to be a middle-round pick. But the senior improved his stock over the Pac-12's shortened season, earning All-Pac-12 second-team honors. - Los Angeles Times

(DS#23 WR) rSr/2021 WR Tyler VaughnsSouthern California
News Source: Los Angeles Times
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  USC's top receiver has joined the parade of Trojans leaving early for the NFL. It was a foregone conclusion that Amon-ra St. Brown would declare for the draft following USC's shortened 2020 season. On Saturday, he made his departure official, becoming the fifth Trojan to announce his intent to leave USC for the NFL. His production over three seasons largely lived up to that hype. He finished his career with 178 receptions, 2,270 yards, and 17 total touchdowns.

This season, over just six games, St. Brown paced all Pac-12 receivers with seven touchdowns, scoring four of those in a single-quarter explosion against Washington State. If the conference had postponed its season to spring, St. Brown likely would have left for the NFL already. Instead, St. Brown, who was voted a team captain, wound up playing a central role in USC's plea to Gov. Gavin Newsom to allow the 2020 season to move forward. - Los Angeles Times


(DS#16 WR) Jr/2021 WR *Amon-Ra St. BrownSouthern California
News Source: Los Angeles Times
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  Another key cog in USC's defense is off to the NFL. After establishing himself as a force on the interior of USC's defensive line during its shortened season, Marlon Tuipulotu declared for the draft on Friday, becoming the fourth Trojan in the last week to announce that he was leaving for the NFL. Tuipulotu's exit was widely expected after a stellar season in which he tallied 23 tackles, 3½ for loss, and two sacks as the Trojans starting nose tackle. But his departure leaves a sizable hole in the middle of USC's defensive line, one that the Trojans could have trouble replacing next season. - Los Angeles Times

(DS#6 DT) rJr/2021 DT *Marlon TuipulotuSouthern California
News Source: Los Angeles Times
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  USC's top cornerback is leaving early for the NFL. Olaijah Griffin announced his intent to declare for the draft in an after-midnight post on social media, which he said was made in honor of his grandmother's birthday. The junior cornerback excelled in the Trojans' new defensive scheme, which often left him in one-on-one man coverage. He had one interception and four pass breakups during a shortened season in which he was named honorable mention on the All-Pac-12 team.

His junior season was his first unaffected by injury issues. Griffin missed four games as a freshman before undergoing offseason surgery on both of his shoulders. As a sophomore, he dealt with lingering back issues. This season, Griffin embraced the role of USC's top corner, snagging his first career interception and holding opposing passers to a meager 38% completion rate when throwing against him. - Los Angeles Times


(DS#20 CB) Jr/2021 CB *Olaijah GriffinSouthern California
News Source: Los Angeles Times
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  Receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown is headed to the NFL draft after three seasons at Southern California. St. Brown announced his expected decision Saturday. The speedy, sure-handed receiver is the fifth key underclassman in the past week from the 21st-ranked Trojans (5-1) to declare their intention to enter the draft. St. Brown had 41 catches for 478 yards and seven touchdowns this season, the Orange County native’s third as a key receiver in the USC offense. He racked up 178 receptions for 2,270 yards and 16 touchdowns in his career with the Trojans. He joins All-American safety Talanoa Hufanga, defensive lineman Marlon Tuipulotu, offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker and cornerback Olaijah Griffin in heading to the NFL after the Trojans won the Pac-12 South this season and lost to Oregon in the conference title game before declining to play in a bowl game. - AP College Football

(DS#16 WR) Jr/2021 WR *Amon-Ra St. BrownSouthern California
News Source: AP College Football
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