In case you have not heard enough stories about the USC Trojans' tight ends this offseason, here is one more. Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick will not play this season due to academic issues. Coach Sark has said he needs to focus on his academics. This is the second season he has missed due to academics.
USC TE Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick will not play football this season to focus on academics, per @CoachSark.— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) August 19, 2015
Tight End Bryce Dixon is no longer with the team due to legal issues. This leaves the Trojans with two transfer students (one a walk on the other buried in Oklahoma's depth chart), a former lineman coming out of retirement because of injury and a couple of freshman vying for the starting tight end position.
"Cyrus Hobbi is back, this time as a tight end. Hobbi retired from football in 2013 with an injury and has dropped a substantial amount of weight since he was a backup offensive lineman two years ago. Hobbi probably won't provide much in the passing game but could be in the game when the Trojans have their goal-line and short yardage packages in.
Taylor McNamara has arrived on campus after transferring from Oklahoma and is eligible immediately. McNamara was buried on the Sooners depth chart and had only one reception for four yards in three seasons in Norman. At 6'5", 245 pounds, McNamara could be a surprise in camp and work is way into the rotation.
After transferring from Columbia and sitting out the 2014 season due to NCAA transfer rules, Connor Spears worked with the first-team offense during spring ball and impressed with his hands and work ethic. A walk-on, Spears has an advantage over most of the current tight ends on the roster as he knows the playbook and has developed a relationship with quarterback Cody Kessler.
The two freshman that will be competing for playing time at tight end are Tyler Petite and Caleb Wilson. Petite originally committed to Duke before switching his commitment to the Trojans last December and was one of the best TE's coming out of high school. Petite is a superb route runner with great hands and I expect him to play a lot this season. He is not the best blocker but will be a great asset to the passing game plan. Caleb Wilson originally committed to USC to play quarterback but has decided to play tight end. Wilson played a little tight end at Serra High School. He is the son of defensive line coach Chris Wilson."