12/06/2024

USC’s Raleek Brown out for Arizona game as father confirms redshirt status

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USC’s Raleek Brown out for Arizona game as father confirms redshirt status

After making a transition from running back to receiver, Brown has suited up in just one game and has been frequently seen working with the scout team.

After making a transition from running back to receiver, Brown has suited up in just one game and has been frequently seen working with the scout team.

One of the strangest subplots in USC’s 5-0 start raged on ahead of Saturday night’s kickoff, as sophomore wide receiver Raleek Brown — one of the Trojans’ most electrifying skill players as a freshman — wasn’t anywhere to be seen at the Coliseum in warm-ups against Arizona.

After making a spring transition from running back to receiver, the 5-foot-8 Brown has suited up in just one game this year and has been frequently seen working with the scout team during practice media availability. In early September, the Southern California News Group reported Brown was planning to redshirt his sophomore year, which head coach Lincoln Riley didn’t fully dispute.

“He’s looking at the possibility of redshirting, that’s part of the world right now,” Riley said Sept. 5. “We’ll see what happens. I mean, I could certainly foresee him being a big part of the team this year.”

That possibility is all but reality, now, as Brown’s father Roscoe confirmed to SCNG Saturday night that the sophomore was set on redshirting in 2023.

Brown had been dealing with a nagging hamstring injury, Roscoe previously said, and hasn’t seen a role materialize in a packed Trojans receiver room even after a six-touchdown freshman year.

“You see guys make big changes, and the transition for him was and is a big change,” Riley said Sept. 5. “And it’s not always perfect in the beginning.”

Injury updates against Arizona

After not dressing for USC’s trip to Colorado last week, both safety Max Williams and freshman receiver Zachariah Branch were seen back practicing with the Trojans on Tuesday, a sign they could return for Saturday’s game against Arizona.

“Hopeful to be able to have them both,” Riley said Tuesday, adding he didn’t think either’s injury was long-term.

Williams, indeed, was dropping back again in the secondary on Saturday night against Arizona quarterback Noah Fifita, making his second straight start himself in place of injured Wildcats signal-caller Jayden De Laura. Branch, though, was in sweats for the second consecutive week, leaving USC without one of its most dynamic playmakers and leading kick returner. Freshman Makai Lemon again filled in for Branch on kickoffs Saturday.

Cornerback Domani Jackson, meanwhile, didn’t suit up for USC on Saturday with injury, leaving the Trojans down a starting corner against Arizona. Jackson struggled against Colorado and had a shaky beginning to the year, but had shown widespread growth across the past three games after an injury-plagued freshman year.

Arizona transfer Christian Roland-Wallace, as expected, manned one of the corner spots Saturday against his former program. But in a slight surprise, redshirt junior Jacobe Covington started in place of Ceyair Wright against Arizona.

“He’s started becoming more consistent on the practice field,” Riley said of Covington Tuesday, “so he’s a guy we’re pointing to, along with Domani, along with Ceyair, that we want those guys to continue to come along.”

Defensive lineman Korey Foreman, as well, didn’t dress Saturday as Riley told media Tuesday USC was “exploring” redshirting Foreman for his junior year.

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