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USC football: Cornerbacks will be in the spotlight

USC football: Cornerbacks will be in the spotlight
USC cornerback Kevon Seymour chases Arizona State quarterback Taylor Kelly during the second quarter of a game on Sept. 28 last season. (Christian Petersen / Getty Images)

USC's secondary quickly went from seasoned to somewhat inexperienced in the wake of Josh Shaw's suspension.

But the Trojans might benefit in the long run if young players take advantage of the opportunity in Saturday's season opener against Fresno State.

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Shaw, a fifth-year senior and team captain, was suspended indefinitely Wednesday after admitting that he lied about how he incurred ankle injuries. He was not going to play in the opener regardless because of the injuries.

Junior Kevon Seymour, Shaw's roommate, will start at one cornerback spot and redshirt freshman Chris Hawkins is the front-runner to start at the other.

"We still have a lot of corners," defensive lineman Leonard Williams said Wednesday before Shaw was suspended. "We're not going to let it affect us" at game time.

Freshman Adoree' Jackson will now have a potentially larger role on defense in addition to playing receiver and possibly returning kicks.

Freshmen Jonathan Lockett and Lamont Simmons also moved up the depth chart.

Ready to run

Tailback Justin Davis has not played in a game since suffering a broken ankle last Oct. 19.

The sophomore said it felt much longer.

"Like I haven't touched the field in five years," he said.

Junior Tre Madden is sidelined because of a toe injury, moving Davis up to the No. 2 tailback on the depth chart.

Junior Javorius Allen is on track to start, but Davis should get plenty of opportunities.

Last season, Davis scored six touchdowns and averaged nearly seven yards a carry before he was injured.

He acknowledged that he will be nervous until he absorbs a hit at the Coliseum.

"I've been nervous since Pop Warner, sixth grade," he said, chuckling. "It's a good thing. I look at it as positive that keeps me on my toes."

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Quick hit

Offensive lineman Khaliel Rodgers will be in uniform against Fresno State but is not expected to play because he is still recovering from a knee sprain.

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