Also, injuries and slower-than-expected progress from some linemen on the roster have provided a greater sense of urgency regarding the future.
Here is a look at the 2016 Trojan offensive line:
While it should be noted that Jordan Simmons is expected to apply to the NCAA for an extra year with a medical hardship —which may or may not be granted— consideration must be given to the fact that Khaliel Rodgers has battled injuries throughout his Trojan career.
This means that as much as sixty percent of the starters could be gone after this year and two players —Lobendahn and Smith— will be coming back from significant knee injuries.
Sep 26, 2015; Tempe, AZ, USA; Southern California Trojans offensive tackle Zach Banner (73) against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
As such, the Trojans coaching staff has extended a variety of offers to premier offensive linemen around the country. So far, USC has received verbal commitments from three-star* tackle, Andrew Vorhees, four-star Alijah Vera-Tucker (Tackle) and four-star Brett Neilon (Center).
The Trojans also have several offers out to uncommitted offensive line prospects including five-star Foster Sarell and four-stars Austin Jackson and Stephan Zebie, among others.
Of those just mentioned, Jackson appears the most likely to sign on the Trojans dotted line, although Sarell did take a visit on November 25th, which he appeared to enjoy.
With the Trojans likely to take as many as five offensive linemen in this class, it appears they still have work to do, which may include “flipping” an already committed recruit.
The player most likely to fit that description would be five-star Wyatt Davis, a local product (Bellflower, CA.) committed to Ohio State. According to Eleven Warriors, he denies rumblings that his pledge may be shaky.
Whatever the case, the Trojans will need to replenish the offensive line to continue their push to return to prominence in 2017 and beyond.