USC defensive coordinator Alex Grinch didn’t even hesitate. One of the standouts of fall camp on his side of the ball has been Tuli Tuipulotu.

As a sophomore first-year starter last season, Tuipulotu made 48 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks over 12 games. In Grinch’s defense, he could be a standout havoc-creator on the defensive line. USC needs that. He’s a preseason all-conference guy again after earning a spot on the first-team All-Pac-12 team last year, and he’s a player most expect to take another jump in his game in his third year with the program.

Grinch likes what he has seen so far.

“The guy who continues to stand out is Tuli,” he said. “He’s a guy that a couple guys have been out and he’s played, I think, three different spots on our defensive line. All he does is lead from the front. All he does is play hard. So, without question, he’s been a real standout.”

That versatility could serve Grinch and the Trojans well once they get into the season.

Injuries happen. Adjustments need to be made in-game. If Tuipulotu can slide around and play a few different spots — Grinch said he likes being able to stand up, too — then Grinch can get creative with his sub-packages and keep one of his best players on the field.

“It’s just fun being able to see both sides of the line,” Tuipulotu said. “At first I thought it was going to be similar to playing to d-end, but it has its differences and I have to get used to it for sure. It took me a couple practices to get used to it.”

He said for a few practices he was just bouncing back and forth around the line. Whether it’s defensive end or rush end or kicking more inside, Tuipulotu should be all over the field this fall.