USC Now

USC spring preview: Offensive line

USC spring preview: Offensive line

USC begins spring practice March 3. We’ll preview each position group before workouts begin.

Offensive line

Departures: Aundrey Walker, Giovanni Di Poalo and Nathan Guertler

Key returning players: Senior Max Tuerk, fourth-year juniors Chad Wheeler and Zach Banner and sophomores Toa Lobendahn, Damien Mama and Viane Talamaivao

Returning players: Fourth-year junior Jordan Simmons, third-year sophomores Khaliel Rodgers and Nico Falah, and redshirt freshmen Chris Brown and Jordan Austin

Newcomers: Freshmen Chuma Edoga and Roy Hemsley

Outlook: Every 2014 starter is back, but the position group has a new coach – Bob Connelly – for the fourth time in four seasons.

Tuerk, who has played guard, tackle and center, is preparing for his fourth season as a starter.

Wheeler is recovering from season-ending knee surgery after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament against Utah.

Lobendahn started 13 games. He moved from left guard to left tackle for the final five games to replace Wheeler.

Rodgers began fall camp with the first-unit offense but was sidelined before the opener because of a knee sprain. He started three games at left guard.

Banner started every game at right tackle.

Mama and Talamaivao rotated at right guard.

Simmons has been slowed or sidelined for most of three seasons because of injury.

Falah practiced on the scout team and played in three games.

Brown was a redshirt, and Austin was a redshirt while recovering from hip surgery.

Edoga and Hemsley enrolled in January.

“They really answered needs” at tackle, Coach Steve Sarkisian said on signing day.

Questions about USC? Email me at LNThiry@gmail.com or tweet @LindseyThiry and I will respond to select messages in a weekly USC Now mailbag

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
77°