The No. 9 USC Trojans have a lengthy and successful history as a football program. They are one of the powerhouses in the nation and it seems impossible to do something that hasn’t been done at Southern California. But this Saturday, true freshman Max Tuerk may make some history.
Tuerk is in line to possibly start at the left-tackle position for Lane Kiffin and the Trojans this upcoming weekend in their game against the Arizona Wildcats, something that USC has never done. A young buck protecting Matt Barkley‘s blindside. No first year player has ever started in this crucial position for the boys of Troy.
Tuerk played his high school ball in Santa Margarita, Calif. and was one of the top ten offensive-line recruits to come out of the 2012 class. He is big, strong, and it may be a blessing to get this kid on the field this early in his career.
USC’s offensive-line has been disappointing this year and Tuerk could be a breath of fresh air for the future of this group, a group that lost Matt Kalil to the NFL draft this year. The 6’6, 290 pound freshman saw snaps in the Trojans’ win over the California Golden Bears and saw some reps last week in their game against the Colorado Buffaloes.
Starting left-tackle Aundrey Walker suffered a neck injury in the third quarter of the Colorado game, making room for Tuerk to potentially become the squad’s starter.
The rest of the season for Tuerk will be more than a learning process as the Trojans are getting into the meat of their schedule. Tuerk will be a pivotal piece in the conclusion of senior quarterback Matt Barkley‘s waning moments as the leader for the Trojans.
USC still has Pac 12 and National Championship hopes as they have games against the Oregon Ducks and Notre Dame Fighting Irish before the season is over. They might even see Oregon again in the Pac 12 Championship game.
Protecting the blindside of a future NFL quarterback is quite a lot of pressure for an 18-year-old, but something tells me Max Tuerk will be able to rise to the challenge.