LOS ANGELES – USC senior offensive lineman Abe Markowitz has had to endure more than most to put on a USC uniform. Having to deal with injuries is just part of it.
After missing the previous two seasons with a foot injury, Markowitz will petition to the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility.
Where he’ll use that sixth year of eligibility, if it’s granted, is in question.
“Abe will not be coming back with us,” Kiffin said. “There’s a potential that he’s looking into about potentially going somewhere else but this is his last year with us.
“We’re not bringing him back. We don’t have room.”
In other words, there won’t be a scholarship available for Markowitz, the former walk-on.
Markowitz is open to returning to his walk-on status to remain in the program.
“I’m still weighing out my options and figuring out what’s the best thing for me to do,” Markowitz said. “Financially, it would be hard to continue next year. My parents — I talked to them — they’re even willing to sell our house so that I can pay for school next year.”
Markowitz’s plan is to increase his course load next semester so that he has just one class to take to complete his graduate degree next fall.
The fifth-year senior has been pivotal for the Trojans this season as they’ve tried to solidify the left guard spot. Markowitz has worked his way into the lineup, splitting time with Marcus Martin. He made his first career start earlier this season against Cal, in a game the Trojans rushed for 296 yards.
He arrived at USC as a freshman walk-on from Hawaii in 2008.
He was awarded a scholarship in 2010 as a backup center during his redshirt sophomore season, however, he never saw the field.
After missing the first seven games of season, he was shut down for the rest of 2010 with a foot fracture. He underwent foot surgery, which kept him out of spring practice in 2011. The following fall he missed the first three games of the season before having to undergo another foot surgery.
Although he’s enjoyed his time at USC, the road has been quite rocky. When he arrived at USC, he worked on-campus to help pay for school. Just a month before he was awarded a scholarship in 2010, he wasn’t sure how he was going to continue to pay to attend USC.
The fact that there is no scholarship available for him in 2013 is something he adds to the list of trials he’s endured as a Trojan.
“This is another bump,” he said. “We just got to figure it out.
“My time here’s been great. I’ve (risen) through the ranks of a college football player. I came here as a homesick walk-on and then I became a guy that got hurt and then I became a guy that could start and play for the team, so I’ve had a great experience and I want to continue it. I want to continue playing football next year.”
Markowitz says he would rather walk-on at USC than be on scholarship somewhere else next fall.
“If I can make that happen, that’s absolutely what I want to do,” Markowitz said.