Specifically, the defensive side of the ball has taken an unnecessary hit or two. Defensive end Devon Kennard suffered a torn pectoral muscle during a weightlifting session last month that could sideline him for the entire 2012 season. While Kennard’s status is ultimately TBD, the fate of cornerback Isiah Wiley is more definite.
And it’s not good, either. Wiley has been ruled academically ineligible for the 2012 season.
(There was some good news, as linebacker Marquis Simmons and cornerback Brian Bauchman have been ruled academically eligible.)
Wiley came on in the second half of last season and finished with 39 tackles — 11 of which came against Stanford — and a fumble recovery. He was getting serious looks during fall practices and was likely going to starter for the Trojans.
The injuries on the defensive side of the ball are on top of the scholarship restrictions USC is facing from the NCAA. On offense, Robert Woods is coming back from a linger ankle injury and George Farmer has been dinged up lately.
Maybe it’s just me, but I’m starting to get a little apprehensive about the Trojans’ hype. Every team has injuries to deal with, but not every one has a 75-scholarship cap.