USC’s offensive line understands huge modifications are coming

After 5 years collectively, Justin Dedich hadn’t thought a lot about the truth that in the future two cornerstones of USC’s offensive line can be gone. After all of the video games alongside Brett Neilon and Andrew Vorhees, all of the practices and conferences and random journeys spent collectively, it all the time felt like he had yet one more.

However Neilon, the Trojans’ longtime heart, was carted off the sphere with an damage within the Pac-12 title recreation, and Vorhees, who has struggled with nagging accidents all season, mentioned goodbye to the bowl to concentrate on the NFL to arrange the draft. Out of the blue there was no final hurray and Dedich was taking part in heart entrance of the Cotton Bowl and Jonah Monheim had stepped inside to protect him. An period had come to an finish with out warning.

“It’s,” Dedich mentioned with a sigh. “It is a harsh actuality to face. I am glad we now have a brand new group and we play nicely collectively, however these are my brothers. it makes me unhappy It does.”

How harsh that actuality ends for USC relies upon largely on Dedich, who’s more likely to return for a sixth season because the anchor and chief of the Trojans’ offensive line. He and Monheim can be the one returning full-time starters on the road subsequent yr, making huge modifications inevitable.

These modifications have been underway for weeks. “It is a model new shuffle,” Dedich mentioned.

With Dedich shifting to heart and Monheim to right-back, it is nonetheless unclear how the opposite components will match for USC. Gino Quinones began a recreation as guard earlier this season and must be used as left guard towards Tulane, and redshirt rookie Mason Murphy will play one of many sort out spots.

Redshirt senior Bobby Haskins was the Trojans’ left beginning participant for many of the season after beating Courtland Ford for the job. However on Friday, offensive line coach Josh Henson indicated that “you are going to see lots [Ford] within the Cotton Bowl.”

Extra modifications may very well be on the horizon. Switch offensive sort out Michael Tarquin, who began eight video games for Florida this season, signed to USC Friday afternoon, giving the Trojans a much-needed bookend for Murphy in sort out. 5 different freshmen offensive linemen will arrive from the incoming recruit class, together with gifted four-star sort out Elijah Paige.

“There will likely be new faces coming within the spring and we’ll see how they slot in,” Henson mentioned. “However it’s a head begin for many who are simply training on the sphere.”

USC should not be in need of choices to reorganize by spring. However changing what Vorhees and Neilon have meant to a unit that is seen its share of ups and downs will not be simple.

Neilon’s calm amidst the chaos is irreplaceable, mentioned Dedich and Monheim. Nobody may comprise them like Vorhees, whose many superstitions had turn out to be a part of the id of the USC lineage.

On one event, Dedich made the error of taking the fallacious pre-game power drink for Vorhees.

“I normally seize him like Rainbow Unicorn, however I grabbed him like Strawberry Blast and he misplaced it to me,” Dedich mentioned, laughing. “He mentioned, ‘Dude, if we lose this recreation, it is due to that.’ ”

Dedich was notably eager for these quirks on Friday. However as he regarded by means of the dressing room at Monheim, he was full of a way of hope for the longer term.

“That child over there, Jonah, is de facto strengthening,” he mentioned.

Recalling that he is now technically the senior statesman on the USC offensive line, Dedich shrugged. He cannot fairly see it but. No less than not but.

“I feel I may take that position, however I do not know,” he mentioned. “You simply need the success of the room to be that huge. Generally you are the chief and you do not actually realize it. You solely play ball.”