Sartz Will Start for Grootegoed
USC’s defense will include at least one new starter, and possibly two, when the fifth-ranked Trojans play Washington on Saturday at Seattle.
Coach Pete Carroll said Thursday that sophomore Dallas Sartz would start at linebacker in place of Matt Grootegoed and that redshirt sophomore Frostee Rucker might start at end in place of Omar Nazel.
Grootegoed started against Notre Dame last week but was replaced by Sartz early in the game after he aggravated the high ankle sprain he suffered the week before against Stanford. Grootegoed will travel to Seattle and said he could play if called upon.
Nazel said he was ready to play after practicing for the first time since having surgery to repair a dislocated right thumb he suffered against Notre Dame.
He is wearing a cast on his wrist.
“I’ll just have to work around it and do the best I can,” Nazel said.
Sartz will be making his first career start. He played in 12 games last season on special teams and as Grootegoed’s backup. Before the third game this season, Sartz moved to safety. He returned to linebacker when Grootegoed was injured.
Linebacker Daniel Urquhart was released from the hospital after being treated for a staph infection in his right elbow.
Urquhart, who was hospitalized last year for the same condition, was the fifth USC player to be hospitalized for a staph infection since training camp began in August.
Freshman defensive end Manuel Wright, who had been practicing with a heavy bandage under his chin because of a milder staph infection, was held out of practice Thursday and will not travel to Washington.
“They don’t want me to infect anybody else,” Wright said.
If quarterback John David Booty had not skipped his senior high school season to enroll at USC, he probably would be starting tonight for Evangel Christian Academy of Shreveport, La., with hopes of ending Concord De La Salle’s record 144-game winning streak.
The schools play at Diablo Valley College in a game that will be televised live by ESPN2.
“I was looking at that game like we’re looking at the Sugar Bowl here at USC,” Booty said. “The state championship game was big, but were talking De La Salle.
“I know Evangel’s skill level. If they show up with the right game plan, it could be interesting.”
Senior left tackle Jacob Rogers performed a full workout for the first time this week and will start against Washington. Junior John Drake will start at right guard for the second game in a row, and sophomore Hershel Dennis will continue to start at tailback.... Tight end Dominique Byrd had knee surgery as scheduled, Carroll said.