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USC Trojans wide receiver Gary Bryant Jr. to redshirt year

One of USC’s best receivers from last season is preparing to sit out the rest of this one.

Junior Gary Bryant Jr. is expected to wear the red jersey this season, coach Lincoln Riley said Tuesday. Bryant, who had just caught two passes in three weeks, is free to play in one more game as long as he retains his ability to play in the red jersey.

The decision to sit Bryant out for the rest of the season is a surprising turnaround for a receiver who ranked among the most productive playmakers in USC’s passing attack last year. Bryant had seven touchdowns and 579 yards for an offense that was without his main target, Drake London, for the second half of the season. Bryant also served as one of USC’s best returners.

But with a new fleet of transfer receivers, Bryant’s opportunities have dried up. The eight routes he ran in USC’s win over Fresno State last Saturday represented a high point for three weeks. He practiced with the scouting team’s offense on Tuesday.

Whether Bryant will choose to remain at USC beyond his redshirt year remains to be seen. He signed with the Trojans out of Corona Centennial in 2020 as one of the most coveted receiving recruits in the country. If he decides to enter the NCAA transfer portal, he probably won’t be short of suitors.

Less than a month ago, Bryant told reporters he appreciated the competition that came with Riley’s offense and a fuller receiving room.

“Just going out there and taking it one day at a time and knowing that I’m competing with myself,” Bryant said. “I just try to elevate. when i heard jordan [Addison] coming [Williams] I was coming, just knowing I can take his game, he can take my game, we can all come together as one and rise up every day in practice.”

Addison and Williams have become the primary targets in USC’s explosive passing attack, combining for 41 of 91 goals in three games. No other receiver has been attacked more than seven times.

The lack of equal opportunity raises the question of whether Bryant will be the last one in that room to redshirt.

Etc.

After missing USC’s win over Fresno State with an ankle injury, left tackle Courtland Ford practiced Tuesday. He and fellow left tackle Bobby Haskins both enter this week in good health, but Riley wouldn’t say who would get the most snaps Saturday against Oregon State.

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