USC Football

Class Of 2016: Then And Now

February 10, 2020

National Ranking 10

PAC-12 Ranking 1

QB: Matt Fink*

DE/LB: Oluwole Betiku

DE/LB: Connor Murphy*

DE/OL: Liam Jimmons*

DT: Josh Fatu

LB: Jordan Iosefa*

CB: Jack Jones

WR: Tyler Vaughns*

WR: Michael Pittman, Jr.

WR:Trevon Sydney

WR: Josh Imatorbhebhe

WR: Velus Jones, Jr.

WR/ATH: Pie Young

OT: E.J Price

OT: Frank Martin*

OT: Nathan Smith

RB: Vavae Malepeai*

TE: Cary Angeline

S: C.J Pollard

S: Jamel Cook

There are still seven(*) Trojans on the aformentioned roster as we head toward the 2020 season. 

A staggering TWELVE on the list have either transferred or left the team for other reasons.  And ONE will be in the NFL draft.  I think it’s a fair to say the class while still fluid, should be put in the loss column.   And if we’re considering ratios, USC, is on the wrong side of the ledger when 60% of the class transfers...the return on investment should be considered a write off.

Let’s review:

The quarterback, Matt Fink, is the back up to JT Daniels and Kedon Slovis....Daniels will be a red shirt  sophomore and Slovis a true sophomore.  Fink’s development has been slow and steady and last year when called upon, Fink, had a game for the ages versus Utah.  However, his role at USC should the remain after teasting the transfer portal last season, and will more than likely remain the back up. 

USC brought in six wide receivers with the 2016 class, four of whom have transferred,  The two surviors who somehow were able to make it through the rigors, Michael Pittman, has developed into a possible 1st round draft pick, and (RS) senior Tyler Vaughns, returns with his 189 career receptions and 17 touchdowns to lead a young and experienced group of uber-talented receivers.,,,Hopefully in the same role Pittman filled for the team in 2019. 

NFL scouts I’m sure will take notice that every time Vaugns makes a reception, he’s been avergaing a first down at just under 13 yards a clip.

The offensive line class was small so the magin for error was razor thin to begin with.  Frank Martin has yet to make an impression although has one more chance in 2020, and, Liam Jimmons who was originally brought in as a defensive lineman, has since been converted to offensive guard, and became a significant contributor in 2019.  Nathan Smith ended up medically retiring and E.J. Price was asked to leave the program.

The entire defensive secondary from the 2016 class have left the program.  Jamel Cook never found solid footing after arriving from the state of Florida, Jack Jones, found himself in legal trouble and recently, CJ Pollard, decided to test the transfer portal.

Running back Vavae Malepeai has been a bright spot...when healthy.

Tight End, Cary Angeline, transferred to North Carolina St.

The linebacker/defensive line group, Jordan Iosefa and Connor Murphy are retunring for a final season to leave an impression.

The initial reviews for the Trojan’s 2020 class have not been positive.  In fact they have been downright dismissive. 

Maybe we should take a look at the 2020 class 3-4 years down the road beofre we make a determination and throw the babies out with the bath water.

Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.