Transfer impact on Trojans

The Trojans will likely see an impact on their roster for the 2012 season due to transfers.

USC gained a transfer in defensive back Joshua Shaw from Florida. A talented player who prepped locally at Palmdale (Calif.) High School, Shaw appeared in 10 games as a safety for the Gators in 2011, including one start, and ended the year with 22 tackles, notching a season-high six against Auburn.

Shaw will begin fall camp at strong safety next month but he could also end up seeing time at corner, as he was the No. 3 ranked corner in the ESPN rankings for the class of 2010. It’s a deep defensive back group for USC this year so it remains to be seen how much of an impact Shaw will have, but he’s certainly good enough to make his mark if presented with an opportunity.

Shaw will be a redshirt sophomore this season with three years of eligibility remaining.

The Trojans also lost several transfers, most notably tailback Amir Carlisle, who was on track to be the primary backup to Curtis McNeal this season but is now at Notre Dame.

Carlisle ran for 123 yards on 19 carries as a true freshman in 2011 and also added seven catches for 41 yards and a touchdown. His future was considered bright in Cardinal and Gold and his sudden transfer caught many in the program by surprise.

There wasn’t as much surprise when fellow tailback Dillon Baxter transferred after last season, first to San Diego State and then to Baker University in Kansas. Baxter had a series of off-field issues with the Trojans and his departure had been expected.

Still, the loss of two tailbacks depleted the group and only D.J. Morgan returns as a reserve with any experience. That position will be key to watch this year to see how the lost transfers impact the offense.

USC also lost a pair of wide receivers when Brice Butler transferred to San Diego State and Kyle Prater left for Northwestern. While both came to USC out of high school with outstanding credentials, the production never matched up and both decided to leave rather than battle for playing time in a strong Trojans receiver group.