Depth at USC has been thin recently, courtesy of NCAA sanctions, but it just became a little thinner with the news that defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow will be out for the year with an ACL injury sustained in voluntary player workouts.
The redshirt freshman was expected to push for a starting job replacing George Uko, who just graduated. At 6’3 and 300 pounds, Bigelow brings some impressive girth to the front line, and showed great promise in his first year, despite not seeing much time on the field.
With Bigelow out, the Trojans will likely turn to junior college-transfer Claude Pelon, who at 6’5 and weighing 285 pounds, may be built more like an end, but has the quickness and strength to cause headaches for opposing interior linemen.
Pelon is a four-star recruit out of Mesa Community College, and was prepared to commit to Washington, but chose to follow head coach Steve Sarkisian to Southern Cal. While the Huskies loss is USC’s gain, the Trojans still have to deal with the lack of depth with just nine scholarship defensive linemen currently on the roster, including Bigelow.
This could be a devastating blow for what should be one of the top defenses in the nation in 2014.