When USC players jogged onto the practice field Tuesday for the start of spring workouts, there was a noticeable void left by the absence of quarterback Sam Darnold.
After leading the Trojans to a victory in the Rose Bowl, followed by a Pac-12 Conference title, Darnold departed with eligibility remaining for the NFL draft.
On Tuesday, the competition began to replace him.
Redshirt sophomore Matt Fink took repetitions with the starters throughout the two-hour practice and redshirt freshman Jack Sears practiced with the backups.
“I have never gotten those reps before,” Fink said after practice. “It was pretty exciting.”
Said Sears: “We’re...