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Postseason look: Crunching USC's scholarship numbers

With the Trojans’ 2015 season now in the books, and signing day less than a month away, it’s worth taking a quick look at where Clay Helton’s squad sits in regard to scholarship numbers.

The Trojans went through the 2015 season with a total of 83 scholarships used out of an NCAA-mandated limit of 85. Of those 83, 78 were recruited scholarship athletes, while five were former walk-ons who were later awarded scholarships.

One of those 83 scholarships was taken up by quarterback Ricky Town, who opted to transfer to Arkansas after participating in the early stages of fall camp. Another was filled by tight end Bryce Dixon, whose athletic scholarship was reinstated by the university following an off-the-field issue, although he has not been allowed to return to the team.

With the 2015 season complete, the Trojans now lose 15 scholarship seniors, a junior in Su’a Cravens to the NFL draft, and Town’s scholarship comes off the books as well, bringing the number to 66. That goes down to 65 when you factor in placekicker Alex Wood, who has one more year of eligibility remaining, but who participated in the Senior Salute in the Trojans’ final home game of the year – indicating his departure.

Helton and Co. will now add to that total number of 65 with the upcoming recruiting haul. Given that the Trojans previously signed five blueshirt players that counted toward the Class of 2016, USC is allowed to sign a total of 20 prospects, which would bring the team scholarship total up to 85. The Trojans currently have 14 players already committed in the class – seven of whom will enroll early.

Of course, there could still be plenty of movement in the coming months. Will tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, who focused on academics this past fall, rejoin the team in the spring as expected? Is there any chance that Dixon will be reinstated to the team, or might he wind up transferring to another school? Will all of the walk-ons who were previously awarded scholarships have those scholarships renewed?

With all of that said, here’s a closer look at where each position group appears to stand today.

Quarterback – 2

Juniors – Max Browne*

Freshmen – Sam Darnold*

Departures – Cody Kessler

Class of 2016 commits (1) – Matt Fink (EE)

Running Back - 4

Seniors – Justin Davis

Sophomores – Dominic Davis, Ronald Jones II, Aca’Cedric Ware

Departures – Tre Madden, Jahleel Pinner, Soma Vainuku

Class of 2016 commits – None

Wide Receiver – 9

Seniors – De’Quan Hampton, Darreus Rogers, Christian Tober*, Isaac Whitney*

Juniors – Steven Mitchell*, JuJu Smith

Sophomores – Deontay Burnett, Jalen Greene, Ajene Harris*

Departures – George Katrib

Class of 2016 commits (5) – Josh Imatorbhebhe (EE), Velus Jones, Michael Pittman (EE), Trevon Sidney, Tyler Vaughns

Tight End – 5

Seniors – Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick*, Taylor McNamara*

Sophomores – Tyler Petite

Freshmen – Daniel Imatorbhebhe*

* Dixon’s scholarship also fits in here, although he is not technically a part of the program.

Departures - None

Class of 2016 commits (1) – Cary Angeline

Offensive Line – 14

Seniors – Zach Banner*, Jordan Simmons*, Chad Wheeler*

Juniors – Nico Falah*, Toa Lobendahn, Damien Mama, Khaliel Rodgers*, Viane Talamaivao

Sophomores - Jordan Austin*, Chris Brown*, Chuma Edoga,

Freshmen –Roy Hemsley*, Clayton Johnston*, Cole Smith*

Departures – Max Tuerk

Class of 2016 commits (2) – Frank Martin II, Nathan Smith (EE)

Defensive Line – 7

Juniors – Kenny Bigelow*

Sophomores – Jacob Daniel, Malik Dorton*, Rasheem Green, Noah Jefferson

Freshmen - Christian Rector*, Kevin Scott*

Departures – Claude Pelon, Delvon Simmons, Cody Temple, Greg Townsend Jr., Antwaun Woods

Class of 2016 commits (2) – Keyshon Camp, Liam Jimmons (EE)

Outside Linebacker – 7

Seniors - Scott Felix*, Quinton Powell, Jabari Ruffin*

Juniors – Uchenna Nwosu

Sophomores – Porter Gustin, Don Hill*

Freshmen – John Houston Jr.*

Departures - Su'a Cravens

Class of 2016 commits (1) – Oluwole Betiku (EE)

Inside Linebacker – 4

Seniors – Michael Hutchings

Juniors – Olajuwon Tucker

Sophomores – Osa Masina, Cameron Smith

Departures – Lamar Dawson, Anthony Sarao

Class of 2016 commits (1) – Jordan Iosefa

Safety – 5

Seniors – Leon McQuay III

Juniors – Chris Hawkins*, John Plattenburg

Sophomores – Marvell Tell

Freshmen – Ykili Ross*

Departures - None

Class of 2016 commits (1) – C.J. Pollard (EE)

Cornerback – 4

Juniors – Adoree’ Jackson, Jonathan Lockett

Sophomores – Isaiah Langley, Iman Marshall

Departures – Kevon Seymour

Class of 2016 commits - None

Special Teams - 4

Punter

Sophomores – Chris Tilbey*

Placekicker

Juniors – Matt Boermeester*

Holder

Seniors - Conner Sullivan*

Long Snapper

Seniors – Zach Smith*

Departures – Kris Albarado, Alex Wood

Class of 2016 commits - None

* Has used redshirt

EE – Early Enrollee