USC Now mailbag: Position changes and recruiting

USC Now mailbag: Position changes and recruiting
Gardena Serra defensive lineman Oluwole Betiku hasn't said he's interested in playing for USC, but he still has time to change his mind. (Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

Each week The Times' USC blogger, Lindsey Thiry, answers questions about the Trojans. Here's this week's USC Now mailbag.

Can you see Jordan Simmons making the switch to the defensive line? And making an impact? Especially vs. Alabama?


— TurntUpTrojan, ‏@TurntUpTrojan

Fourth-year junior Jordan Simmons worked out with the defensive line during Thursday's player-run practice.

It was the first time I've seen Simmons — an offensive lineman — play on defense, and it is far too soon to tell whether he will make a position switch.

Simmons has been slowed by injuries for three seasons. A more relevant question would be if he can stay healthy in 2015.

With an entire season to play, why are USC fans so focused on Alabama in 2016 already?

Where do you think we really stand with 'Wole Betiku? Thanks a lot!

— Ian Rountree, ‏@RountreeNCAA

Gardena Serra High defensive lineman Oluwole Betiku announced his top six schools in May, and USC did not make the cut.

Betiku listed Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Texas A&M and UCLA as his favorites.

Signing day is more than seven months away, so there is time for USC to try to make up ground with Betiku — but it appears unlikely.

Seven former Serra players will be on USC's roster this fall.

Bigger 2016 recruiting need: Defensive Line or defensive backs?

— Brandan Edwards, ‏@consciousb

This is a great question. After much debate, I've decided defensive backs.


Starting cornerback Kevon Seymour will graduate after this season, and there is a possibility that sophomore Adoree' Jackson will make himself available for the NFL draft following the 2016 season.

Redshirt sophomore Lamont Simmons transferred this summer, leaving three backup cornerbacks — sophomore Jonathan Lockett and freshmen Iman Marshall and Isaiah Langley — for the 2015 season.

And depth needs to be added at safety with only four on the roster this season: junior Leon McQuay, third-year sophomore Chris Hawkins, sophomore John Plattenburg and freshman Ykili Ross.

Which top California receivers do you think USC will land and how many receivers will USC take in the 2016 recruiting class?

— GRod, ‏@Usc_Trojanss

USC is expected to sign between three and five receivers in the 2016 recruiting class.

I predict Corona Centennial's Javon McKinley and La Puente Bishop Amat's Tyler Vaughns and Trevon Sidney will sign with USC.

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