Former USC rookie Korey Foreman’s season slowed by injury

A new season and a new staff were supposed to mean a new start for Korey’s Foreman. But during two crucial weeks of USCpre-season camp, the former No. 1 overall rookie barely had a chance to start.

An undisclosed injury has kept Foreman out for the past week. Before that, there was no time for this USC coach Lincoln Riley called “a pre-commitment”. In total, he has missed most of the Trojans’ camp so far – having also missed the start of spring training through injury – leaving him with few opportunities to make any impression on the USC staff before the season.

“Is it a problem, Korey missed that? Sure,” Riley said Tuesday. “But I want to make the point, it’s not because it’s Korey, it’s because he’s a player on the USC football team.”

Few other USC players, however, have arrived with nearly equal hype to Foreman, whose signing was seen as a watershed moment for USC’s football program that it was commemorated. on a campus notice board. After a frustrating first year which has only seen him used sparingly, this season is pivotal for the former five-star rookie and his trajectory under Riley.

Luckily for Foreman, there isn’t much of a depth chart at the end of the run to challenge him for playing time yet. Auburn transfer Romello Height also missed most of practice this week with an undisclosed injury. He spent most practice games open to the media in a gold non-contact jersey.

Beyond those two, USC only has three players listed as runouts on its roster, one of whom (Solomon Tuliaupupu) has also not practiced due to injury. The other two – Devan Thompkins and Garrett Pomerantz – are freshmen.

Others, like defensive end Solomon Byrd and inside linebacker Julien Simon, had to move to join the fray. Even standout defensive end Tuli Tuipulotu occasionally moved on the outside to bear some of the burden of passing rushing.

No one is panicking about the position yet. But that paper depth is becoming more of an issue for defensive coordinator Alex Grinch with each passing practice.

“I’m very worried,” Grinch said Thursday. “We’re not recovering for the past two weeks.”

Just over two weeks separate USC from its opener against Rice, leaving just a few more days for Trojans coach Roy Manning to determine who deserves to start in the position. Height is the presumed favorite after a remarkable spring, but it hasn’t entirely solidified this spot. Nobody did, Manning said.

“The reality is that none of them have done anything in terms of the broad scheme of things, so they should all have a chip on their shoulder,” Manning said.

For Foreman in particular, the next two weeks should be an eye-opener. On a defense that desperately needs rushers, his talent alone could still make him the missing piece for USC in the pass rush.

Either way, time is running out for the Trojans defense to figure it out.

“That position needs to be solidified here very quickly,” Grinch said, “or the first few weeks will be interesting.”

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