More transfers continue to impact the USC Trojans as two more players exit the football program. As reported by Ryan Abraham of uscfootball.com, wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. and cornerback Greg Johnson have entered the NCAA transfer portal Friday afternoon. The Jones Jr. news was first broken by Matt Zenitz of Al.com.
Just to be clear because there seems to be some confusion, Greg Johnson and Velus Jones are in the NCAA Transfer Portal. Hunter Echols is NOT in the Transfer Portal and was not ever in the Transfer Portal.— Ryan Abraham (@insidetroy) March 1, 2019
The news couldn’t have come at a worse time with spring camp set to start in a few days. USC has now had a total of nine players enter their name in to the transfer portal with the recent news of Johnson and Jones Jr. intending on leaving the program. Both were set to compete for starting positions this spring at their positions.
Johnson impressed last year during spring camp and worked his way towards a starting spot for the first four games of the season, before losing it to senior Isaiah Langley. Johnson would ultimately miss the remainder of the season after 10 games with another season ending shoulder surgery. Johnson was slated to miss spring camp to recover from shoulder surgery, however he was one of the favorites to win the starting cornerback spot this season.
Jones Jr. had a solid season at the slot wide receiver spot with 24 receptions, 266 yards, and a touchdown. He was also one of the Trojans’ spot returners on special teams with 483 kick return yards. With Graham Harrell coming in, he was one of the key players returning to the wide receivers unit and viewed as one of the players to benefit from the Air Raid offense. Jones Jr. is now the fifth Trojan wide receiver to transfer out of the program joining Josh Imatorbhebhe, Randal Grimes, Trevon Sidney, and Bru McCoy.
USC’s depth at wide receiver and cornerback will take a huge hit this spring with the departures. While it will gain a bit more depth with the incoming freshmen, they won’t enroll until the summer. Four-star defensive back Max Williams and three star safety Britton Allen are currently enrolled, however Williams is still rehabbing from a knee injury that required surgery and is aiming for fall camp to make his return to the field.
While transfers do happen, the departure of two key players this close to spring practice does raise some eye brows. The USC football program has not had the best of off-seasons with their recruiting class finishing 20th in the nation, failing to pull in top recruits, the departure of Kliff Kingsbury after a month, and players transferring out of the program.
The culture around the USC football program is something that is in dire need of a change. The large amount of transfers and players passing on USC is showing that fomething must change and soon.