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2015 USC Spring Practice Preview: Cornerbacks and Safeties

The Trojans secondary had a lot of issues in 2014 but return both starting corners and one safety from last year.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that the USC secondary was inconsistent and at some times terrible. The Trojans ranked 118th in passing yards allowed (274.5) and heading into spring practice, the secondary will feature some new faces.

Cornerbacks: Kevon Seymour is entering his final season as a Trojan. Seymour started in all 13 games last year and had 49 tackles, a tackle for a loss, one interception, and a team-leading 13 pass deflections and 14 pass breakups. The two-year starter needs to work on running with his back to the ball but Seymour has more than solidified his spot as one of the starting cornerbacks on the team.

After redshirting in 2013, Chris Hawkins appeared in 11 games and had 32 tackles. Hawkins could have a great spring as he will most likely be getting most of first team reps because Adoree’ Jackson will be juggling both football and track and field as he competes in the long jump. Jackson was virtually a first-team freshman selection on most media outlets and was the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. Could we see some more Adoree' in the offense next year?

Behind these three are a couple of players who played in a few games last year. They include Jonathan Lockett (5 tackles in 12 games last year) and Ryan Dillard (4 tackles in 7 games in 2014). Rahshead Johnson is no longer with the team after transferring and Josh Shaw graduated and will most likely be a late-rounder in the upcoming NFL Draft. The Trojans will welcome Iman Marshall and Ykili Ross in the fall.

Safeties: Gerald Bowman had a great season last year. Considering he entered his senior season with only 11 total tackles, Bowman started 12 of the 13 games in 2014 (missed the Utah game) and finished the season with 72 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss, and two interceptions. Bowman has now graduated but the Trojans return both Leon McQuay III and John Plattenburg. McQuay III started all 13 games last year and finished the season with 36 tackles and two interceptions. McQuay III will be a junior and could have a breakout season.

Plattenburg played in 10 games and made one start in his freshman season and had 32 tackles and a tackle for a loss. Marvell Tell will join the team in the summer and could push McQuay and Plattenburg for a starting job.