USC spring football review: Linebackers

USC spring football review: Linebackers

End-of-spring depth chart

Starters: Fifth-year seniors Lamar Dawson and Anthony Sarao, fourth-year junior Scott Felix and junior Su’a Cravens

Backups: Fourth-year junior Jabari Ruffin, junior Quinton Powell, freshman Cameron Smith and junior Michael Hutchings or sophomore Olajuwon Tucker

Reserves: Redshirt freshman Don Hill

Incoming: Freshmen John Houston, Porter Gustin and Osa Masina

Review: Dawson was the surprise of the spring. The Kentucky native spent more than a year sidelined after undergoing knee surgery before the eighth game of the 2013 season. But he appeared nimble during workouts, making multiple plays and filling the void left by Hayes Pullard at middle linebacker.

Smith, listed as Dawson’s back-up, enrolled in January. He intercepted several passes and was not intimidated as an early-enrollee.

Cravens said he felt more comfortable at outside linebacker than he did during the 2014 season. He stood out at nearly every practice and intercepted two passes in the final workout before the scrimmage.

Powell, listed behind Cravens, increased his weight and strength.

Felix was a reliable outside linebacker and continued to hone his pass-rushing skills. Ruffin, listed as Felix’s backup, was limited while recovering from knee surgery he underwent during training camp last season.

Sarao was sidelined because of a foot injury but was listed as a starter on the depth chart. Last season, he intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown.

Hutchings and Tucker shared reps at inside linebacker.

Houston, Gustin and Masina will join the team in training camp.

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