For people uncertain about the Trojans talents..



Here is a breakdown of their depthchart thanks to our friends at

No Leinart.. No Bush.. No white .. NO PROBLEM :hammer: I will post the most impressive positions in my mind

So who wants to be a superstar? Is it a foregone conclusion that the starting USC quarterback will be a Heisman finalist thanks to all the talent around him? Probably, but who will it be? John David Booty appeared ready to explode in the starting role before back spasms struck this spring. Mark Sanchez has next level talent and may someday be in New York for a Heisman presentation now that he's back on the team after a sexual assault charge filed by a USC student was dropped. If Booty can't get healthy there will be a big-time panic and lots of crossed fingers hoping for Sanchez is innocent and can get back in the mix since Mike McDonald is a limited number three option compared to the other two.The key to the unit: Keeping John David Booty healthy for a full season and hoping Mark Sanchez is the real deal.
Quarterback Rating: 9
Projected Starter
- John David Booty, Jr. - 27-42, 327 yds, 64.3%, 3 TD, 2 INT
Booty's career hasn't exactly gone as planned. He was supposed to get a long look as the starter as a true freshman after graduating a year early from high school, but some guy named Leinart went off and won the Heisman and then decided to stick around another year when he could've been the number one pick in the draft. Now Booty has a back injury to deal with. He has a big arm and he certainly knows the system, but he has to prove he can stay healthy and his decision making has to be spot on. He was making great progress before his back spasms struck knocking him out of spring ball.

Top Backups
- Mark Sanchez, RFr.
Don't hand over the plum job to John David Booty just yet as Sanchez is back after he was arrested on sexual assault accusations and was been suspended from the team before charges were dropped. He was named the 2004 High School Player of the Year by several sources and has even more upside than Booty with more size and a bigger arm. He's not the quick decision maker Booty is, but that's only because he doesn't have the practice experience. Now that he's back on the team, expect him to see plenty of time even if he doesn't win the starting job.

[FONT=verdana, arial, sans serif][SIZE=-1]This group will keep the NFL stocked for years to come. The entire corps is full of big, fast, talented receivers who can do it all highlighted by the best returning receiver in America, Dwayne Jarrett, and the speedy Steve Smith, who's also All-America caliber. Patrick Turner and Chris McFoy would provide excellent depth if it was just the two of them, but top recruit Vidal Hazelton and junior Whitney Lewis help to make the reserves something truly special. There's a good rotation at tight end between three good pass catchers.The key to the unit: Finding enough passes to keep everyone happy and establishing a go-to tight end.
Receiver Rating: 10 Projected Starters
- Dwayne Jarrett, Jr. - 91 catches, 1,274 yds, 14 ypc, 16 TD
Jarrett spent his freshman season being compared to Mike Williams, and then had scouts thinking he's even better than the current Detroit Lion after a brilliant sophomore season showing off hands, the ability to make the acrobatic grab, and consistency. He had the full trust of Matt Leinart to be the go-to, crunch time receiver coming through with big play after big play leading the team with 31 more catches than the number two receiver, Steve Smith. He has caught passes for 75 yards or more in 15 of the 26 games he has played in with a whopping 29 touchdowns in two years.

- Steve Smith, Sr. - 60 catches, 957 yds, 15.9 ypc, 5 TD
Smith could've gone pro this year but returned to join Dwayne Jarrett to form the nation's best 1-2 receiving tandem. He showed no problems from the broken leg that knocked him out in 2004 with the same speed and quickness he had before the injury. He's a decent sized target at 6-0 and 195 pounds and has some of the best wheels on the team.

- Tight end Fred Davis, Jr. - 13 catches, 145 yds, 11.2 ypc, 2 TD
Davis might not be as talented as Domonique Byrd was, but he has a little bit of starting experience and can be a dangerous receiver. Recruited as a wide receiver, David bulked up to 245 pounds but still has the same hands and route running ability of a smaller player.

Top Backups
- Chris McFoy, Sr. - 17 catches, 172 yds, 10.1 ypc
While it's not quite right to call McFoy a possession receiver, he's used as a reliable midrange target with 40 career catches for 467 yards. He's a great athlete who isn't afraid to go across the middle, but he's still looking for his first touchdown.
- Patrick Turner, Soph. - 12 catches, 170 yds, 14.2 ypc, 2 TD
The sky's the limit for the ultra-talented sophomore who has all the makings of the next superstar Trojan receiver. He's 6-5 and 220 pounds with good deep speed. He missed the last two games of the year with a hamstring problem but is expected to play a big role this season behind Dwayne Jarrett on the outside.
- Vidal Hazelton, Fr.
Was he worth the wait? The 6-2, 200-pound freshman was considered to be among the nation's best recruits, and USC got him after a fierce battle with Penn State, among others. He has superior deep speed and open field moves with enough talent to push for a starting spot right away.
Ryan Ting, Sr. - 25 tackles, 2 interceptions, 2 broken up passes
A nickel back for most of last year along with being a key player on special teams, Ting will move from free safety to flanker where his speed and tremendous quickness should make him a top all-around playmaker. He'll also be the main punt returner.
- Tight end Dale Thompson Jr. - 1 catch, 5 yds
Mostly a special teamer so far, Thompson is an athletic 6-4, 255-pound target who'll see plenty of time in two tight end sets.
Offensive Linemen[SIZE=-1]
The line has to overcome the loss of mauling guard Taitusi Lutui and all-stars Winston Justice and Fred Matua, but there are great players to rebuild around in All-Americans Sam Baker and Ryan Kalil. Kalil is a technically sound center who has been the leader up from for the last two years, while Baker is a rock in pass protection. The return of Jeff Byers at guard after missing last year with a hip injury is a big bonus, but there's not a whole bunch of experience on the right side or in the reserves. The key to the unit: Quickly determine the pecking order on the line to quickly establish a starting five that can jell. Developing reliable backups is also a must.
Offensive Line Rating: 8 Projected Starters
- OT Sam Baker, Jr.
Put him on the preseason All-America list. Baker has been the team's most consistent linemen over the last few seasons and should be even better now that he's up to 305 pounds. He's strong enough to play guard if needed, but he's too good a pass protector and too athletic not to be put at left tackle.
- OG Jeff Byers, Soph.
Byers appears all set to have a breakout season after a solid freshman year, but a hip injury kept him out all of 2005. He's a strong 300 pounds and should be a rock on the left side next to Sam Baker.
- C Ryan Kalil, Sr.
Kalil brings the attitude to the line. He bulked up a bit and should be in the mix for All-America honors as the 285-pound anchor of the line. He doesn't make mistakes.
- OG Chilo Rachal, Soph.
A big backup all of last year, the 300-pound sophomore will get the first look on the right side. He had problems with a knee injury early in his career, but it didn't bother him last season as he showed big time promise as a run blocker.
- OT Kyle Williams, Sr.
It'll be up to the 6-6, 295-pound senior to replace Winston Justice on the right side. He saw time in almost every game last year and was used in goal line situations as well as in the rotation. He's a good athlete and is extremely strong in the running game.

Top Backups
- OG Alatini Malu, Jr.
The 340-pound junior is the biggest player on the line and should see plenty of action on the right side rotating with Chilo Rachal. The former JUCO transfer got his feet wet a bit last year seeing a little bit of time mostly on special teams.
- OT Thomas Herring, RFr.
Herring is one of the team's biggest linemen and the largest tackle at 6-6 and 335 pounds. He's trying to come back from a knee injury that knocked him out all of last year to backup Sam Baker on the left side and be groomed to be the starter in 2007.
- C Matt Spanos, Jr.
Will Spanos play center or tackle? He's athletic enough to do either, but he'll likely start out seeing time behind Ryan Kalil at center adding a little bit more bulk to the inside.
- C Travis Draper, Soph.
Draper will battle with Matt Spanos for time behind Ryan Kalil in the middle. The 295-pound sophomore spent last year on the defensive line and could also see time at guard.
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sans serif][SIZE=-1]Linebackers
A concern going into last season, the linebacking corps might be the best in America if all the parts are intact. This is a very big, very fast group with seven All-America caliber talents not counting the big-time freshmen coming in this summer. The return of Thomas Williams from a knee injury and Dallas Sartz from a shoulder problem gives the corps a big boost, while the progression of Rey Maualuga and Keith Rivers as experienced veteran should mean few mistakes.The key to the unit: Staying healthy and finding playing time for all the great talents.
Linebacker Rating: 10
Projected Starters
- Dallas Sartz, Sr. - 8 tackles, 2 sacks, 2.5 TFL
The 6-5, 240-pound senior started off his career at safety before becoming one of the team's most reliable linebackers with 116 career stops going into last season. He was all set to be the starter on the strongside again and the leader of the inexperienced linebacking corps when he suffered a shoulder injury and was knocked out for the year.

- Oscar Lua, 66 tackles, 1 interception, 2 forced fumbles
While he isn't the most talented of the USC linebackers, he's among the most productive leading the team in tackles last year. Now he's battling with Rey Maualuge to try to keep his starting spot in the middle. He's a rock at 240 pounds, but he doesn't make too many plays in pass coverage or as a pass rusher.

- Keith Rivers,( most talented in the country IMO) Jr. - 52 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack, 1 interception
Rivers was good last year and should be special this season. The superstar recruit of a few seasons ago handled himself well on the weakside, and now he's expected to take his game up another level and be more of a playmaker in the backfield using his speed size to be more disruptive.

Top Backups
- Rey Maualuga, Soph. - 37 tackles, 1 sack, 4.5 TFL, 2 forced fumbles, 1 interception, 2 broken up passes
As backups go, there's not a better one in America. The 6-3, 250-pound sophomore had a dominant season when he got his chance to shine in the middle. He's active with a good burst of speed to the ball with the quickness to handle himself well. He'll give Oscar Lua a huge push for the starting job.
- Thomas Williams, Jr. - 27 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception, 4 TFL, 3 broken up passes
Williams has the talent to be the team's best linebacker, but he has to get healthy after a knee problem and then find a way to stay on the field. He's a strong 6-3 and 220 pounds with enough experience to grow into an All-America caliber player on the strongside, but once again, his knee has to be 100% first. He's big enough to play in the middle if needed.
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- Brian Cushing, Soph. - 23 tackles, 3 broken up passes
A shoulder problem will keep him out this spring, but he'll still be a key player somewhere on the outside. He played a big role when injuries hit the linebacking corps, but it might be hard for the 6-4, 235-pound sophomore to see too much time with Thomas Williams and Dallas Sartz back in the mix on the strongside.
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I don't think the "Ting Brothers" are on the team anymore. I think they quit to pursue their academic careers. Also, it was found that one of them tested positive for steroid use.
From Bruce Feldman's BLOG:

I went out to USC practice on Friday. There was the normal rust of what you might expect from the second practice of camp: Tight ends dropping passes and an eye-popping number of botched snaps between the second-team center and the reserve QBs. A few impressions: freshman Vidal Hazelton has playmaker written all over him; sophomore Brian Cushing, a 6-3, 245-pounder, might just be a good fit for that "elephant" (hybrid DE-OLB) role the 49ers used back in the Charles Haley-Tim Harris days; and Dwayne Jarrett's frame has really filled out. I caught up with Jarrett after practice.

I also chatted with Chauncey Washington and RB coach Todd McNair, who said the biggest concern he has over his new tailback is consistency. Asked to describe his style, rather than just saying he is a combination of Reggie Bush and LenDale White, Washington threw out the name Jamal Lewis. Having seen the Ravens star in person, Washington isn't quite that big, but he still appears to have more than enough power to run through the Pac-10.
"Chauncey's such a workout warrior and he studies his ass off," McNair said . "He's had to overcome a lot of adversity, and because he's had to bite the bullet, he doesn't take stuff for granted. That really humbled him."
The line continues to go down at Pinny. You can get -7.5 for -105.
USC coach Pete Carroll said quarterback John David Booty needed a break during Tuesday's practice because the junior felt worn down, a sign that Booty is still trying to completely come back from offseason back surgery.
"I've got to get my legs under me," Booty said. "I'm a little bit behind conditioning-wise. I haven't been doing a whole lot of running until a month ago."
Booty said his back feels fine and if he misses any snaps in practice it will only be attributed to conditioning. "It's not my back or my arm," Booty said. "I just think I'm getting my legs back. This is my conditioning time."
I don't think folks have questions about the talent at USC, I think the questions are centered around whether or not that talent can play together. This is the fewest number of returning starters that the Trojans have had under Carroll and in fact even a back into Hackett's reign.
rjurewitz said:
I'm starting to think Cal can win the Pac-10.

So Cal will go into USC and beat them? :drinking: I seriously doubt that..
You could get descent value if you bet them to win the pac 10, although i think ud make more money if u just bet the ML on that game.

Cal is starting to get nice talent at the skilled positions, but USC has 3rd stringers better than some of cals starters. I just remember last years game at Cal .. that should settle the debate.