Answer Thursday!

Scholarship numbers are on the readers’ minds in this segment of the Open Forum.

Q: Troy said:
There’s been articles that the sanctions won’t affect SC, perhaps till 2015. The reason being is the number of transfers/going pro vs. the max 15 scholarships and this may put SC at the risk of having a roster in the low 60s or possibly high 50s. What do you think? Also, if SC falls short of the 75 man roster even after giving out the max 15 scholarships, can they replenish the open spots with players on academic scholarships (I don’t know the key differences/limitations of the two)? Thanks!!

A: USC will not have problems giving out 75 scholarships. Right now, if the Trojans sign 15 recruits, they will probably need to take away 5-6 scholarships from current players. But that assumes no one else leaves by July when scholarships are renewed.
I’ve mentioned before that Lane Kiffin does fine using 40-45 scholarship players in a game. My concern is the way wide receivers and tailbacks are leaving the rostrer, which means if their are injuries next season, USC could be in trouble.
If USC gave students academic scholarships, those do not cover room and board. So a normal recruit would go elsewhere instead of coming up with $12-15,000.[EP

Q: Trojan Conquest said:
With the top 3 WRs being Woods, Lee, and Farmer, who do you see making an impact behind them? Blackwell, Flournoy, or another incoming freshman making an impact like Darreus Rogers?

A: I’d say Blackwell is the next receiver up in the rotation. However, Flournoy’s made plays in practices but does not impress Kiffin for whatever reason. Remember he took away his number the first spring he was head coach. I think Rogers has potential but it might be asking a lot to make an impact next season.

Q: uscmike said:
What was the driving force behind the recent departures of players like Butler, Prater, etc. (other than Carlisle)? Did the players leave knowing they were low on the depth chart, or did the coaches nudge them out in order to get down to the 75 scholarship limit? Do you expect a similar exodus in January for the next three year?

A: I think Butler and Prater saw that Robert Woods and Marqise Lee are entrenched at wide receiver and everyone else will pick up the scraps. That said, the coaching staff was also happy to see them leave to free up scholarships. So it worked both ways. But in my view, it would have better to keep one of them around for depth purposes. There is still going to be some roster movement, whether through transferring or ineligibility. The following year there might not be as much movement if more than 15 seniors/juniors graduate or turn pro. I currently count 14-15 scholarship players departing after the season and that does not include anyone else who might leave before this season.

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  • spedjones

    why does anyone think Farmer’s No. 3 on the WR rotation? Kid couldn’t learn the play book and is only playing WR because he said he’d transfer otherwise.

  • NJ Trojan

    For Butler it makes perfect sense. Last year he would have had to lose a year if he TR to another FBS program or spend his last 2 years at an FCS program. The best course of action was to spend his 3rd year at SC, graduate & TR to SD ST, an FBS program where he should be able to step in & be the go to guy right away.

    I think Prater was frustrated but more importantly I think he wanted to be closer to home. I’ll bet he wouldn’t have sought a TR if he had local family support. Woods is going to be a JR next year & if he has another dynamite season, he’ll be projected as a top draft pick. Sure he’s the kind of guy who might stay & graduate but more likely he’ll go pro. That would give Prater this year to prove his worth as a back up & the next 2 years as the next Williams/Jarrett. Or maybe he’s just another Turner/Ausberry…

    I figured Butler would have been encouraged to TR this year but I was surprised to see Prater go. It frees up another scholly for a new recruit but I have to think it would have been better for USC if he had stayed.