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USC's Velus Jones Jr. and Greg Johnson intend to transfer

USC's Velus Jones Jr. and Greg Johnson intend to transfer
USC receiver Velus Jones Jr. sprints to the end zone for a touchdown as UCLA defensive back Nate Meadors gives chase at the Rose Bowl. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Just days before the USC football team begins spring practice, two Trojans who contributed last season entered their names into the NCAA transfer portal, signaling their intention to leave the program.

Senior wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. and sophomore cornerback Greg Johnson became the latest USC players to choose to continue their careers elsewhere.

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Jones, one of the Trojans' top four receivers, caught 24 passes for 266 yards last season and likely would have competed for a much larger role in new offensive coordinator Graham Harrell's scheme. Jones, an Alabama native, was recruited by former USC offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Tee Martin, who was fired after the season.

With the transfers of Jones and Trevon Sidney, USC returns only four receivers who caught a pass last season. The good news is that Michael Pittman Jr., Tyler Vaughns and Amon-ra St. Brown should form one of the best units in the country, and sophomore Devon Williams is a promising talent.

Johnson, who competed for a starting cornerback job throughout last season and had 15 tackles, would have been USC's most experienced cornerback. With the graduation of Iman Marshall, Ajene Harris, Marvell Tell III, Jonathan Lockett and Isaiah Langley, USC already was going to be thin in the secondary, especially until freshman reinforcements arrive in the summer.

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