Telfer among 3 TEs vying for backup spot

Rhett Ellison's the sure starter for the Trojans at tight end in 2011, but USC has three capable candidates to back him up this season: sophomore Christian Thomas and redshirt freshmen Randall Telfer and Xavier Grimble.

All three players were top prospects in the class of 2010, and all three players have shown flashes at times in their near-year in the USC system.

"There's three guys that have a lot of potential there," Trojans coach Lane Kiffin said. "All three guys signed in the same class, with Christian being the only one who didn't redshirt. It's one of our few positions like that and it's a great problem to have, obviously."

Kiffin added none of the three have jumped ahead of the others just yet.

Telfer made the final play of Saturday's scrimmage when he beat cornerback Tony Burnett for a nice a 10-yard touchdown play and made a couple other nice plays during the two and a half hour practice. Grimble and Thomas did similar things, although it seems the coaching staff tries to use Grimble in different situations than the other two.

Because of Grimble's bigger frame, he lines up as a blocking-type tight end, whereas Telfer and Thomas are more of the pass-catching type.

"As of right now, we all have an equal chance of playing, have that equal chance of being at that 'F' spot," Telfer said after Saturday's practice. "In the future, Xavier has secured that traditional 'Y' tight end spot, and me and Christian should be battling for that 'F.'

"Realistically, he's a fast guy, so he could definitely play there. I could play too, so it's good for both of us."