With all the talk about the University of Southern California Trojan offense and the possibility of adding a star running back from Penn State, the conversation hasn't had a lot to do with the defense. Well, due to some less than good news surrounding the loss of starting senior defensive end Devon Kennard, the spot light is back on the Trojans defense.
Within the past 12 hours, it was reported by ESPN that Kennard tore a pectoral muscle while working out with weights and the injury will require surgery. It's possible the 6'3" 260 pounder could return for the second half of the season but is waiting for more information from the doctor to find out how bad the injury is (source - Twitter). Kennard has not used his redshirt and could come back in 2013 as a fifth-year senior.
High school All-American
Originally a high school All-American from Phoenix, Arizona, Kennard entered USC as a defensive end but Pete Carroll's staff decided to move him to linebacker during his freshman year and he made the All-Pac-10 freshman team. As a sophomore, new head coach Lane Kiffin's coaching staff switched Kennard to middle linebacker. Injuries plagued Kennard during 2010. Kennard moved back to his natural position at defensive end last season and was looked upon to be one of the leaders on defense in 2012.
Depth is an issue for the Trojans entering this season and certainly defensive end is one of the teams concerns. Wes Horton plays on the other side from Kennard and is thought to be one of the better defensive linemen in the country. USC uses regular rotations on the defensive line.
Who replaces Kennard?
In the rotation with Kennard is redshirt freshman Greg Townsend Jr. Fourth-year junior Kevin Greene was to be in the rotation with Horton but might move over to the left side. J.C. transfer Morgan Breslin is also likely to play quite a bit. Incoming freshman standout Leonard Williams (6'5" 270 pounds) may also have to be thrust into play. The talent level is good but the experience level is not. Greene is the only player that has played any Division 1 snaps.
The latest word is, it looks like Kennard will be back about mid-season (source - L.A. Times).
Some expected this to be Kennard's breakout season and, at the very least, was expected to play significant minutes as the defensive line didn't look very deep with experience. If championships are won with defense, the Trojans are not looking as certain for a title as they did before Kennard's injury.
Sources - Yahoo! Sports, University of Southern California
Daryle lived in Los Angeles Ca. most of his life and has been a longtime fan of USC and the Pac-12, having closely followed the Trojans since he was just a youngster. Fight On!
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