USC will head into spring practice next month with a new defensive coordinator, but the Trojans won’t have one of their top returning players on that side of the ball at their disposal.
Clancy Pendergast, who replaced Monte Kiffin as coordinator, confirmed Thursday that linebacker (for now) Dion Bailey will sit out the 15 practice sessions that will culminate with the annual spring game April 13. Bailey is still recovering from a surgical procedure to repair damage in his shoulder, although the medical issue should have no impact on his availability for the start of summer camp a handful of months down the road.
Bailey has started 24 games the past two seasons, including all 13 in 2012. The redshirt sophomore led the Trojans with four interceptions, and finished third on the team with 80 tackles.
There’s been talk that Bailey could be moved from strongside linebacker back to safety, although such a move would obviously have to wait until summer.