Fall camp rages on throughout the Pac-12. Throughout the week, we'll provide a team-by-team update of the biggest remaining position battle at each program throughout the conference. We continue with USC.
Biggest remaining position battle: Safety
Importance: Not that there is real concern here, but the safety spot opposite John Plattenburg isn't completely set. As a sophomore last year, Leon McQuay III started nine games but fell out of favor late in the season, which has led to questions about his role this season. It's still likely McQuay could win the job, but he'll have to fend off sophomore Chris Hawkins, who moved to safety from cornerback during the spring.
Until Hawkins plays there in a game, it's tough to draw any firm conclusions, but reports out of spring and fall camps have indicated the transition has been smooth. Freshmen Marvell Tell III and Ykili Ross could also factor in, but neither figures to unseat either McQuay or Hawkins.
It shouldn't come as a surprise if USC lets the competition play out well into the season, rotating McQuay and Hawkins throughout different times -- both to continue the evaluation process and keep them fresh. If either emerges as clearly the better option, they can go with that guy, but until then there's not a pressing need to choose.