They haven't been on campus long, but with USC currently on a one-week break from workouts, here's a glance at how the five newest Trojans performed through the first two weeks of spring drills.
OL Chuma Edoga (6-foot-4, 285 pounds, Freshman)
The No. 21-ranked player overall in the ESPN 300 for the Class of 2015, Edoga has lived up to the hype so far. Lining up as a right tackle with the No. 2 offense throughout the initial six practice sessions, he turned heads in the first week when he defeated fifth-year senior defensive lineman Claude Pelon on two consecutive reps in a one-on-one drill -- one of them in dominating fashion. As to be expected, however, he hasn't always performed on that level on a consistent basis, but his athleticism, competitiveness and willingness to mix it up has really made him stand out as a player with a very bright future. It will be interesting to watch his development throughout the remainder of the spring and on into the summer because he's flashed some unique abilities, and with the Trojans lacking ideal depth at the tackle spots, there's always a chance he could be pressed into early action. From what he's shown initially, he just might be ready for that challenge if called upon.
OL Roy Hemsley (6-6, 310, Freshman)
Lining up with the No. 2 and No. 3 offensive units at left tackle, Hemsley moves really well for a player his size -- not surprising when you consider the fact he's a former basketball player. But not having taken up football until his sophomore year at Los Angeles Windward, and not facing the stiffest of competition there, his rawness is still very apparent, and he has had his fair share of struggles. But he does look to have a lot of the key components you look for in an offensive tackle in terms of his size, length and athleticism, so with more reps in practice, as well some time in the weight room, there's reason to believe he can turn into a valuable contributor down the line.
LB Cameron Smith (6-3, 240, Freshman)
Smith has been one of the surprises of the spring -- particularly over the course of the last week of practices. He's a classic-looking inside linebacker with outstanding size and a rough-and-tumble brand of play, and that much was known before he ever stepped foot on campus. What has been somewhat of a revelation, however, is his athleticism and pass coverage ability. Lining up at Mike linebacker with the No. 2 defense behind Lamar Dawson, Smith intercepted a pass in each of the last two workouts. USC's other linebacker signees set to arrive this summer -- Porter Gustin, John Houston Jr. and Osa Masina -- have been getting most of the attention as of late, but Smith seems to be making a statement with his play that he shouldn't be forgotten.
QB Ricky Town (6-3, 205, Freshman)
Town has been the fourth quarterback in line taking reps during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 periods, with Cody Kessler, Max Browne and Jalen Greene taking snaps in front of him. As to be expected with an early-entrant passer, even a highly-prized one, Town has had his ups as well as his downs this spring, and at no time was this more apparent than during the team's fifth workout. He had two beautiful throws that really highlighted his arm strength and poise where he connected deep with Steven Mitchell and Isaac Whitney along the sideline, but then again, he also threw two interceptions during that session that came on passes directed at receivers who were blanketed by defenders. In any case, the physical tools are certainly there, so as his comfort level with the playbook grows, and as he gains more confidence, he has the potential to develop into a special player.
WR Isaac Whitney (6-4, 205, RS Junior)
Without a ton of depth at the wide receiver positions, Whitney has received plenty of reps this spring, and he's shown some nice skills as a taller pass-catcher with surprising speed. As an older player coming from the junior college ranks, he already possesses a college-ready body, and it's allowed him to fit in, physically, right away. There are times, however, when, still trying to soak in the playbook, Whitney seems a little unsure out there and is a step behind, and he's also had some drops. He isn't close to challenging for a starting role at this point, but the good news is that he's a hard worker who has already made strides from the time of his initial arrival at USC early in the winter, and so long as that trend continues you can expect to see him making some kind of impact as a member of the rotation in 2015.