The USC Football program is always held to high expectations, and the upcoming season has a unique feeling to it. This 2023-24 version of USC seems poised to vie for the National Title, setting aside ego and hubris.
Defensively, the previous season fell short of the S.C. standards. Defensive Coordinator Alex Grinch struggled to harness his team’s potential. USC’s performance ranked poorly, standing at No. 94 in points allowed per game, No. 80 against the run, and No. 112 against the pass. Moreover, the team was No. 106 in total yardage allowed per game.
Clearly, changes were imperative during the offseason. Here, we delve into five defensive transfers that are expected to make an impact in USC’s 2023-24 season. Among the young talents, we are enthusiastic about the prospects of Louisiana LB Tackett Curtis. Nonetheless, these experienced transfers are anticipated to play significant roles and likely secure starting positions.
1. DT Kyon Barrs (6’2″ 290; RS Sr.)
Kyon Barrs stands out as a major acquisition from the transfer portal. Over his four years at Arizona, Barrs boasted impressive stats, including 102 tackles, 12.5 TFL, and 5.0 sacks. His standout junior year earned him All-Pac-12 Second Team honors. With a background as a 3-tech, Barrs brings versatility to the field. Returning to his natural position, he showcases a combination of quickness, strength, and a promising future as an NFL defensive tackle.
2. DB Christian Roland-Wallace (6’0″ 200; R.S. Sr.)
Christian Roland-Wallace, a redshirt senior returning to Southern California from Arizona, shines as a skilled defensive back. With 58 tackles, two forced fumbles, and six pass deflections, he was a standout at Arizona. His adaptability across the secondary positions, including boundary corner and safety, adds depth to USC’s defense.
3. LB Mason Cobb (6’0″ 235; S.R.)
Mason Cobb’s arrival from Oklahoma State addresses USC’s need for a robust presence within the linebacker corps. His impressive tackle count of 96 and 13.0 TFL from the previous season highlights his ability to read the game. Cobb’s football IQ and leadership qualities position him as a vital asset to the team.
4. DL Jack Sullivan (6’5″ 275; R.S. Sr.)
Jack Sullivan’s Big Ten experience at Purdue provides USC with a seasoned defensive lineman. His notable achievements include 38 tackles, 7.0 TFL, and 5.5 sacks. Sullivan’s high-energy approach and mentorship potential bode well for USC’s defensive line.
5. DT Bear Alexander (6’3″ 300; So.)
Bear Alexander, a standout prospect, transfers from Georgia, and his versatility is a key asset. Despite his role as a pass-rusher at Georgia, Alexander’s potential as an all-around lineman is evident. His distinctive skill set and partnership with Kyon Barrs could bolster USC’s defense against formidable opponents.
As the USC Football defense integrates these impactful transfers, anticipation grows for a season filled with promise and potential.