One of the knocks on the USC Trojans during their disastrous 2012 was that they lacked the physical nature that comes with being able to hit in practice. Lane Kiffin held off because of the thin depth the Trojans’ suffered because of NCAA scholarship restrictions and some key injuries in pivotal spots.
Kiffin planned on turning that around this spring by bringing some pop back to scrimmages in practice, but that plan seems to have backfired with a rash of injuries ripping through the USC depth chart. The latest victim is freshman Su’a Cravens, who will miss the rest of the spring with a torn meniscus.
The early enrollee came to campus as a highly touted recruit ready to make an impact next season. After undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus on Friday, however, he will have to wait until summer workouts to get back with the team. He joins a growing list of Trojans who have gone down with injuries this spring.
Running back Silas Redd suffered a similar injury early in spring practice and wide receiver George Farmer learned he would miss the 2013 season with a torn ACL. Even 2012 Biletnikoff Award winner Marqise Lee has been slow to get to full speed this spring as he practiced fully for the first time Thursday after injuring his knee last month.
Kiffin will need to hope that his team can recover quickly from these injuries and come out stronger next fall. USC is still running very thin at several positions and can’t afford to go long stretches without key players. Will these injuries force Kiffin back to the non-contact practices that many blamed for the Trojans’ struggles last season?