USC center Khaliel Rodgers seeks to leave team

LOS ANGELES >> USC center Khaliel Rodgers said Friday he is seeking to leave the team after the season as a graduate transfer.

Rodgers, a fourth-year junior, has graduated from the university and has one season of eligibility remaining. He was given permission to contact other schools.

“It’s my last year to play,” Rodgers said, “so I wanted the best opportunity to show what I could do.”

On the Trojans’ Rose Bowl depth chart, Rodgers was co-listed as the backup center behind Nico Falah.

But he will not play against Penn State, he said, after sustaining a concussion in the season finale against Notre Dame. He has not yet passed the concussion protocol and was not seen practicing with the team during the 15-minute media viewing period Thursday.

Rodgers began this season at defensive tackle before he moved back to center after junior center Toa Lobendahn tore the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in his right knee during the season-opening loss at Alabama.

Last season, Rodgers started six games at center over the second half of the season after Lobendahn underwent season-ending knee surgery.

He also started three games in 2014 at guard, the position that most schools have contacted him about playing.


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