What Isiah Wiley's Ineligibility Means for the 2012 USC Trojans

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 13: Keenan Allen #21 of the California Golden Bears is tackled by Isiah Wiley #14 of the USC Trojans at AT&T Park on October 13, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

After yesterday's practice, coach Lane Kiffin announced that while linebacker Marquis Simmons and defensive back Brian Baucham are academically eligible for 2012, starting cornerback Isiah Wiley is not. This is a solid blow to the defense, but not a tremendous one. Here's what lies ahead for the team.

1. The prominence of Josh Shaw

The team practiced assuming Wiley would not be eligible, which means Josh Shaw received more reps. Remember how some writer thought Wiley would be able to stave off Shaw through the season? Well, Wiley won't even have that opportunity. Oops. Shaw has been good in camp. But it may take a month to determine whether Shaw can play across from Nickell Robey. Let's evaluate his status after Cal.

2. Scholarship players are set

When Silas Redd joined USC last month, the team was at 76 scholarship players. They needed to cut one. Rumors swirled about the possibility of pulling a former walk-on's scholarship to free a spot for Redd. But Kiffin told media that he and his staff believed that one player would not be academically eligible. As unfortunate it is for Wiley to lose his scholarship, at least it did not come at the expense of Kyle Negrete, Tony Burnett or Will Andrew, walk-ons who earned scholarships and have kept the grades.

3. Depth is kept at linebacker and (kind of) defensive back

Yeah, Wiley is gone. But Spring Ball standout Brian Baucham is still around, lessening the hit caused by Wiley's departure in the defensive backfield. Simmons, who was hurt most of last season, reinforces an already stacked linebacking corps. But special teams could always use more bodies. Since he's on the lower end of the depth chart, it would not be a surprise to see Simmons on kick coverage. But he has yet to begin hitting. Coming off a neck injury, Kiffin and Co. will take their time getting Simmons back in the fold.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Conquest Chronicles

You must be a member of Conquest Chronicles to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Conquest Chronicles. You should read them.

Join Conquest Chronicles

You must be a member of Conquest Chronicles to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Conquest Chronicles. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker