After USC wrapped up it’s Wednesday practice, Clay Helton and Clancy Pendergast spoke to the media about injuries, who will be starting on Saturday, and what the Trojans can do to limit the UNLV Rebels on the field.
Clay Helton informed the media that freshman running back Markese Stepp who has been sitting out the past few practices due to concussion protocol, has been cleared but will not see action in Saturday’s season opener against UNLV.
Starting center Toa Lobendahn who has also been sidelined with injury due to a pectoral strain is uncertain for Saturday. If Lobendahn can’t go, redshirt freshman Brett Neilon will make his debut at center.
Senior captain Porter Gustin who suffered a torn meniscus earlier this month is slated as a “most likely” start on Saturday. Per Shotgun Spratling of USCFootball.com, Helton expects the herculean outside linebacker to play, “unless there is some unforeseen sweling.”
Gustin will be a welcome addition back to the Trojan linebacker corps after missing most of last season due to a toe injury and will be crucial in stopping dual threat and 2017 Mountain West Freshman of the Year, Armani Rogers, from reaching the end zone.
On who will be starting beside Iman Marshall at cornerback, Clancy Pendergast announced that redshirt freshman Greg Johnson will get the nod. Johnson who was sidelined with a shoulder injury last season, had been listed on USC’s depth chart with an “or” next to his name beside veteran Isaiah Langley. After had an impressive fall camp Johnson will get to notch his first career start under his belt.