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Practice Report: DC Alex Grinch Says USC Football Will Be 'Active' In NCAA Transfer Portal

Apr 21, 2022

USC's final spring practice on Howard Jones Field came to a close Thursday (April 21) afternoon. In contrast to the hard-hitting practices that came before practice No. 14, the Trojans competed in jerseys and shorts to complete their NCAA mandate of non-padded practices.

"I just have to tip my hat to these guys cause they've worked so hard this spring," outside linebackers coach Roy Manning said in a moment of reflection. "We're not going to say things just to make guys feel good. We're going to be very honest. But these guys have really worked, so I'm excited."

The Trojans' depth issues have been no secret this spring, and as the team's camp comes to a close, USC's coaching staff knows that there will be additions to the roster this summer.

"I expect guys in every room on this team [to be added]," Manning said. "When you're 15-plus numbers below the baseline, 85, I don't know if there's a position that's exempt from that. You don't have a disadvantage competitively, so it's our duty and obligation to make sure that this team is sufficient from a number standpoint."

Defensive coordinator Alex Grinch echoed Manning's sentiments Thursday, and shared what he looks for in the NCAA Transfer Portal.

"The biggest thing is making sure that, from an upgrade standpoint, whether it's speed … or size that the individual is going to be able to produce this fall," Grinch explained.

Grinch also noted that experience at the college level is critical to any player they might scout out of the portal.

"Certainly, it's an opportunity that wasn't presented to us in years past," Grinch said. "So we'll be active."

Things to note from USC's 14th practice of spring:

  • Defensive back Latrell McCutchin praised several of his teammates in the secondary Thursday:
    • On Mekhi Blackmon: "The guy is great. He has great ball skills. He's very disciplined, I really liked him a lot. He's really twitchy, so having a guy like that on the field while I'm on the field is gonna be something I really look forward to. He's going make a lot of plays next year."
    • On Calen Bullock: "Calen Bullock is a freak, man! Just playing with a guy like that who can go hash to hash, sideline to sideline, cover the field at safety is something that's gonna be really essential to our success as a defense next year."
  • Defensive back Prophet Brown has seen increased reps this spring due to depth issues in USC's secondary. He shared what his experience has been like in camp.
    • "Getting the reps is really good. You get to see yourself on film more and more," Brown explained. "You get just more opportunities to grow. And it also helps with stamina, because you get tired out there just going over and over again."
  • Defensive backs coach Donte Williams said that Mehki Blackmon is at "wait and see" status for Saturday's spring game. The cornerback has been limited recently with an injury.

Thursday's Gold Plate Picks

  • Andres Dewerk
  • Jason Rodriguez 
  • Korey Foreman
  • Jaylin Smith
  • Calen Bullock
  • Brandon Pili
  • L Simpson
  • Daniel Meunier

Thursday's media availability

The latest Victory Podcast with Keely Eure

Save the Date

USC's spring date is this Saturday (April 23) in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.


New numbers to know


0 - WR Terrell Bynum

2 - WR Brenden Rice

4 - WR Mario Williams

6 - RB Austin Jones

8 - WR CJ Williams

13 - QB Caleb Williams

26 - RB Travis Dye

70 - OL Bobby Haskins


1 - CB Domani Jackson 

2 - EDGE Romello Height

6 - CB Mekhi Blackmon 

21 - CB Latrell McCutchin

31 - DL Tyrone Taleni

53 - ILB Shane Lee 

97 - DT Earl Barquet