Freshman Ruffin will likely redshirt

LOS ANGELES -- Freshman defender Jabari Ruffin will most likely redshirt the 2012 season at USC, Trojans coach Lane Kiffin announced this week.

Ruffin, from nearby Downey, has not played in any of the Trojans' first four games. He began as a linebacker at USC but has been working at defensive end in recent weeks after the school lost Devon Kennard and DeVante Wilson for the season with injuries.

"We're just looking at some things with him up front and some pass-rush stuff, for next year, because he's so talented," Kiffin said Tuesday.

A 6-4, 230-pounder, Ruffin had 99 tackles and two sacks in his senior season of high school, after which he earned Super Prep All-American honors.

USC is now without the services of both of its freshman linebackers on scholarship, as Kiffin announced on Sunday that middle linebacker Scott Starr will miss the rest of the season with a neck injury.

Starr played in the first three games of the season.