USC’s veteran linemen see brilliant future for OT Mason Murphy

Final summer time, when USC first divided into separate weight-lifting periods, Justin Dedich made a request. The redshirt senior and soon-to-be captain needed to change into the identical group as redshirt freshman Mason Murphy.

Dedich had seen one thing particular within the younger offensive deal with, and he was not the one one inside USC’s veteran offensive line group. A number of months later, when Murphy made his first begin as USC’s proper deal with Saturday in opposition to Arizona, Dedich and redshirt junior lineman Jonah Monheim each referred to Murphy because the Trojans’ “most talented” participant up entrance.

“That kid has a lot in front of him,” Dedich stated, “and he’s working to get it.”

“There’s no doubt,” Monheim added, “he’s such a talented kid.”

That expertise has taken a while to develop. To not point out some “tough love” from USC’s veteran linemen, every of whom appears to have determined to take Murphy beneath their wing.

From these summer time periods on, they made it a degree to carry the younger deal with accountable.

“Dedich and [center] Brett [Neilon] and Jonah and all those guys have been on him, and they’ve pushed him and they set a good example for him,” USC coach Lincoln Riley stated. “And I give Mason credit, he’s followed. We’ve been hard on him. He’s got some real talent, he’s really got a chance to be a good player, but he’s needed to grow up and mature and really kind of press forward.”

That growth actually sped up this summer time, with Murphy healed from a damaged foot — and his fellow linemen intently monitoring his progress.

“We were all trying to get on him every day to get him to do the right things, to take every day each day at a time and prove [it] every day,” Monheim stated. “Because he’s a super talented guy. If he does the right thing day in and day out, the sky’s the limit for him.”

Few appear to acknowledge that expertise on the recruiting path, the place Murphy was a three-star prospect and the Forty eighth-rated offensive deal with within the nation, in accordance with 247 Sports activities. Two years later, he’s the centerpiece of USC’s future plans alongside the offensive line, the place the Trojans are more likely to see important turnover within the offseason. Neilon, left deal with Bobby Haskins and left guard Andrew Vorhees will graduate, whereas Dedich has one final 12 months of eligibility to make use of however may additionally declare for the draft.

USC received a quick glimpse of the place its future on the place stands final Saturday when Vorhees was held out due to an harm. Whereas Dedich flipped to the left facet and Monheim shifted inside, Murphy stepped up in at proper deal with.

Every of USC’s linemen had been brimming with confidence forward of the redshirt freshman’s first begin.

“We knew he was ready,” Monheim stated. “[My advice was] just go out there and don’t hesitate. You’re good enough, you prepared well enough. Just let it fly, let it rip. We’ve got his back no matter what. That’s what I told him. I think he did that.”

Harm progress?

After 4 starters sat out the win over Arizona, Riley stated his “gut feel” was that a couple of of USC’s injured gamers would have the ability to return Saturday in opposition to California.

Amongst that injured group are a number of key contributors important to the Trojans’ stretch run. Wideouts Jordan Addison and Mario Williams, linebacker Eric Gentry and Vorhees participated in some capability at follow Tuesday, Riley stated.

“We’ve got a lot of guys that will be close for the game,” Riley stated. “My gut feel is we’ll probably end up getting a few of them back, maybe not all. But very good progress. I don’t think that I’d definitively say anybody’s for sure in, I’m certainly not in position to say anybody’s for sure out right now.”