Star cornerback Adoree' Jackson taking the spring semester to focus on his track career created an opportunity for other cornerbacks to show the coaches' what they are made of. Isaiah Langley took full advantage of the opportunity. Following a promising yet trying freshman campaign Langley picked up many Jackson's practice reps this spring and impressed Coach Helton.
"I'm just working on getting better every day," Langley told the OC Register. "Because (Jackson's) out, it's next guy up."
It has been apparent all spring that Langley wants to be that impact playmaker and rebound from what, in his estimation was a challenging 2015 freshman campaign. Despite getting ample playing time, he still is hungry for more, something that should make Trojan fans very excited.
The coaching staff has noticed Langley's improvement this spring. Head coach Clay Helton views him as an important piece to the USC secondary core going forward. In a presser after one of the spring practices Helton specifically addressed Langley:
"He's really gotten better with each time. His quickness to the ball, you saw it there on a huge pick for a touchdown today that really set the tone. We talked about how important non-offensive touchdowns are in our game. [. . .] He's having a great camp and is someone who is going to help us next year."
The emergence of Langley could prove to be a critical one. Especially considering the Trojans rely on the nickel defense, where an athletic cornerback is ideal, any depth at the position is welcome.
The way he plays the game allows him to be versatile. He can play coverage if need be, but he can also come up and make the tackle, allowing for some of the pressure to be taken off the front seven and linebacking core, something that is crucial in the fast-moving Pac-12.
It will be interesting to see what kind of impact Langley will make as he looks to find that "second gear" and maximize this opportunity. He has shown the talent needed to reach that level, now it is time to see if he can keep that consistency and not suffer from the dreaded "Sophomore Slump."
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