USC Has Confidence Finding Replacement for Safety Talanoa Hufanga

USC lost a star in safety Talanoa Hufanga, so who will replace him come fall 2021?
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Seven USC Trojans declared for the 2021 NFL Draft, and included in the group was star safety, Talanoa Hufanga.

As the Trojans enter their final week of spring ball, defensive coordinator Todd Orlando and safeties coach Craig Naivar are evaluating who will replace Hufanga next season.

Coach Naivar praised Coach Orlando's system on a press conference Thursday morning, suggesting that they will be able to replace Hufanga based on unique strengths of certain players.

"We do a lot, and in doing that, you can put guys in positions to be successful, we've got different pieces and a different team and thats the great thing about what [Orlando] does," Naivar explained.

"We can build to our guys strengths and we are still trying to figure out what those are as this process evolves through spring Ball and fall camp and this summer, we have a pretty good idea obviously but that is what is unique about his system rather than someone else who has a cookie cutter system."

One freshman safety that has impressed Coach Naivar is Xamarion Gordon (Downey, CA). 

"He doesn't shy from contact. I love that." (Naivar)

Gordon's strength lies is in his physicality, according to Naivar, and he picked up the Trojans' system very quickly.

"I am really into how is a young man wired, as far as football smarts and are you willing to go throw your body around play after play, and he's done a really good job of that" said Naivar when talking about Xamarion Gordon's skill-set.

But the question remains, who will land the starting spot on the lineup come September. Redshirt junior Chase Williams is competing for that title.

"I am extremely pleased with what he's doing," Naivar said.

"Nothing is solidified obviously, but Chase has done a really good job of understanding that there was a void placed by Talanoa and Chase is very much analytical like Talanoa, very smart football player." (Naivar)


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