After previously entering his name in the NCAA’s transfer portal, USC cornerback Greg Johnson has been spotted hitting the practice field with the Trojans this week. That would seem to solidify the idea he will not be leaving USC after all, which had been suggested recently.
According to Reign of Troy, Johnson was in a practice uniform for USC’s practice this week, which was a much-needed boost for the depth at the cornerback position this spring. There has been no official confirmation of what Johnson will end up doing, but a return to the practice field would seem to be good news for the Trojans that Johnson is leaning toward coming back to USC this fall.
A player can withdraw their name from the transfer portal at any time, as a number of players have already done this offseason around the country. Entering a name in the transfer portal merely gives that player an opportunity to have official contact with other programs so they can evaluate their options. While the majority of players entering the transfer portal do end up moving on to a new school, a return is always on the table as long as the coach of the program welcomes them back. That appears to be the case with the Trojans.
Perhaps more intriguing for USC may have been the appearance of Bubba Bolden. This would be the same Bolden who looked to potentially be heading to the Miami Hurricanes via transfer in January.
Unlike Johnson, Bolden was not in a practice uniform, although his situation is a little more tricky to figure out at USC (he has been reinstated following an investigation). Bolden showing up at a practice in any capacity leads to the suggestion he may not be ready to leave USC entirely just yet. And because Miami has never made an official announcement regarding the addition of Bolden to their program, Bolden is still a Trojan in an official capacity.
It has been a bumpy offseason for USC head coach Clay Helton, but could he be weathering his way through the storm ahead of what appears to be a crucial season for the Trojans head coach?
The transfer portal was busy on the first day of March adding names from the USC Trojans. Defensive back Greg Johnson and wide receiver Velus Jones, according to reports from Ryan Abraham of USCFootball.com, are the newest entries to the NCAA transfer portal this offseason. That brings the offseason transfer portal total up to 10 players for the Trojans at this point in time.
Johnson was a four-star recruit in USC’s Class of 2017. The Los Angeles native played in 10 games for the Trojans last fall after sitting out the 2017 season with a redshirt. In those 10 games, Johnson recorded 15 tackles and broke up three passes. He will have three years of eligibility remaining but will have to sit out the 2019 season if he lands at another FBS program. Of course, he could always try filing for a waiver to be eligible this fall too and hope the NCAA grants him immediate eligibility.
Jones was a three-star recruit in the Class of 2016. He has yet to find his role within the program though, and perhaps a change of scenery and a chance to break in with a new program will do him well. What makes this more troubling for USC is the Trojans now have seen four wide receivers enter the NCAA transfer portal, with Randal Grimes already having made his transfer to Minnesota official. And of course, this offseason was highlighted by the quick departure of early signing period commitment Bru McCoy, a five-star wide receiver, backing out of his decision to attend USC and later sign with Texas.
In all, there are at least 10 players currently showing up in the NCAA transfer portal from USC. Three players have officially moved on. A player in the transfer portal can officially make contact with other programs but is not necessarily officially gone from their current program. Players can withdraw their name from the portal at any time, as some players around the country have. We’ll have to wait and see how the rest of the players choosing to evaluate their options a bit more this offseason end up with their status at USC, but this has been quite a turbulent offseason for the Men of Troy.