With spring practice set to begin March 7, we count down USC’s most intriguing players to watch. Note: Similar to last year’s series, this is a list of guys who have the most to gain and are best positioned to do so. In other words, quarterback Sam Darnold will not be included for obvious reasons.
For each player, we examine the depth chart, back story, outlook, key questions and how their role could swing in spring.
17. ANDREW VORHEES
Profile: 6-6, 290, freshman
Current pecking order: He begins his first spring on the floor of a shallow pool of offensive tackles. Not much is set in the wake of multi-year starters Chad Wheeler and Zach Banner moving on.
Background: The Central California product has received high marks for his ability to take on a wide range of defensive ends. USC wanted Vorhees long ago and was pleased that he committed last summer. He then teamed with fellow 2017 commit Brett Neilon to fortify USC’s recruiting efforts. You can never guarantee what position an offensive lineman will ultimately play upon entering college, but Vorhees would seem to be a prototypical tackle. His profile and mobility might remind you a bit of Wheeler, only Vorhees is more physically mature at this stage of his career.
Outlook: The offensive line is as open as it’s going to get. It’s unclear what side Chuma Edoga will play on, Toa Lobendahn (knee) will be limited in spring and Coach Clay Helton said he’s open to using Lobendahn and Nico Falah at either tackle, guard or center. While those decisions might be made over the next two months, the question will remain: What is USC’s best five-man combination? Vorhees is the lone spring enrollee on the O-line and, like Lobendahn three years ago, has a golden opportunity to prove he belongs. But the 15 spring practices can go by quickly for newcomers. He’ll need to make the most of what figures to be a plentiful amount of reps before the room gets a bit more crowded in training camp. While USC is starved for quality tackles, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he outgrows the position and is asked to move inside.
Key questions: How competitive is he from Day 1? Is he better suited for left or right tackle (or elsewhere)? Will he be able to contribute this fall?
Swing potential: He could work his way up to an impending fall battle or find himself preparing to redshirt.
17 FOR '17
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