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I like the question about most overlooked players who put their time in (though they might not be most valuable) and I might spotlight one a week. My first candidate is defensive end Kyle Moore. He’s already a junior?!?!?!
The poor guy would have started last year but the Trojans switched Brian Cushing to defensive end. Now he’s ready to start except the coaches are drooling over Everson Griffen. Kyle’s definitely paid his dues and he’s one of the nicest guys on the team, probably because he’s from the South.
Speaking of most valuable (if not exactly overlooked), that would be nose guard Sedrick Ellis, who unsettles offenses more than any other player.

I would consider giving up my AP vote, but only if I can find a new outlet for my “absurd philosophy.”

Most of the pictures have been from the UCLA Library. I’m not sure if you can get hard copies.

Keyshawn Johnson has an excellent shot at the Hall of Fame. He might not have been a speed burner but he was one of the top receivers in the NFL for more than 10 years and has a Super Bowl ring.

Off the top of my head, people I remember most for their ability since 1996 are Chris Claiborne, R. Jay Soward, Daylon McCutcheon, Matt Grootegoed, Mike Williams, Troy Polamalu, Reggie Bush, LenDale White. Winston Justice and Dwayne Jarrett. Off the top of my head. I excluded Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart because people always talk about quarterbacks.

Mitch Mustain will not leave for Tulsa if he loses the starting job in 2008. Now if you said Northern Iowa . . .

Regarding Pete Carroll dinner comments. Stafon Johnson was at a disadvantage last year because of injuries and will be at a bigger one this year with all the other tailbacks. As for Sanchez pushing Booty, I think that’s more to try to keep Booty from getting complacent (if he actually falls for it). I don’t think Sanchez ever fell for it either.
Remember when you go to Trojan club dinners, Pete Carroll likes to be entertaining. My next appearance on the Petros-Money show will be when they decide to actually discuss sports for a day. I actually asked Petros after the Lakers were eliminated what he would talk about now and he said, “Def Leppard.”
I just hope Money doesn’t damage his golden throat by impersonating me next time.

The CB position is not settled in that Kevin Thomas and Cary Harris will still battle it out next year to start. Terrell Thomas is entrenched at the other spot. Shareece Wright and Mozique McCurtis will try to push at the nickel spot but it seems like we hear more about them than actually seeing them play.

Hershel Dennis is still waiting to hear from the NCAA about his sixth year.

Chris Barrett might be able to apply for the supplemental draft but it seems like a stretch, especially when you consider how Manuel Wright turned out and NFL teams WILL remember that if another academically challenged Trojan defensive lineman tries to go pro early.

This is interesting. Within the program, Joe McKnight is already described as the best wide receiver prospect and maybe the best cornerback too. The expectations keep increasing. But he’s also expected to be the next Reggie Bush, so he will be at tailback. Privately, they hope he will be half of what Bush was. That would be enough to make the offense semi-special.
All bets are off once the season starts at fullback. We could see anyone there.
Angelo Johnson will be a true point guard, like Ryan Francis, and probably not much of a scorer/shooter. The bigger issue is whether he completes his summer work and qualifies academically.

I don’t think Mark Sanchez or Mitch Mustain know what they will do a year from now. We’ll have to wait and see.

I’m fairly certain Mustain is not the most decorated player USC’s ever had. I always thought it was Julie Bescos.

Playing time is the obvious factor keeping a kid at a school. Everything else is nearly irrelevant except for the success of the program. I knew several players who would have left USC the past five years but stayed because they wanted to play for a national champion and were happy off the field with the atmosphere created by winning.

I really don’t have an opinion on Marquis Simmons but I am waiting to see if he lives up to the hype. I remember hearing great things about Marvin Simmons but he never made it to USC.

It’s too early to predict who will win out between Sanchez and Mustain. For one thing, Mustain’s never competed for a job against such elite competition (and I include Aaron Corp in that group).
USC did lose several prospects last year who were scared of the competition (Jimmy Clausen most notably) but there are always kids (Corp) who don’t care about the challenge of others.

Taylor Mays would like to try offense in a limited capacity but so far the coaches don’t seem to be embracing the idea.

Jamere Holland is on a football scholarship. The NCAA does not allow you to be on a track (or golf, tennis, etc) scholarship and still play football.
Allen Bradford was one of the top LBs in the country in high school. But he is only about 5-10 or 5-11, so he knows he’s too short to play the spot in the NFL. That’s why he wanted to play safety.

USC’s stepped up its offensive line recruiting, which is why they already have a commitments from Matt Meyer and Matt Kalil. I would not be surprised if Tyron Smith commits over the summer. Out of state, linebacker Brendan Beal remains a likely commit. If USC gets linebacker Arthur Brown of Kansas, then recruiting will really be going well.

Is Sanchez ready to play? Was Matt Leinart? Not until he actually went out and played a game. As Norm Chow said before Leinart’s first start against Auburn, “he might be great or he might crumble.”

Thomas Williams will probably play at MLB if Rey Maualuga gets hurt. He’s experienced, which is important at that spot. Luthur Brown still has a ways to go and Chris Galippo will need to learn, which I’m sure he will do quicker than most.

Nick Young had little to gain by coming back for another year and had the blessing of Coach Tim Floyd. Gabe Pruitt is risking a lot by hoping he will be a first-round pick. If he’s not, he made a big mistake. By the way, we hear he didn’t even notify the basketball program of his decision to leave early until after he announced his decision.
A starting five would be tough to pick right now, but O.J. Mayo, Daniel Hackett/Dwight Lewis, Davon Jefferson, Taj Gibson and maybe Angelo Johnson in a three-guard lineup. Or he can go big with center Mamadou Diarra.

USC offered Matt Barkley a scholarship because the Trojans are feeling a bit pinched by UCLA’s aggressive methods recently of offering extra early and responding likewise.

AC Milan seemed to do as little as possibly required to win. Where was Peter Crouch? Or Craig Bellamy?

There are still some trouble spots with incoming freshmen academically.

Nike tried to get USC to wear a special jersey but Pete Carroll refused.

The new football facility will have new locker rooms for all sports (excluding those over at the Galen Center) and a new, expanded weight room underground. There will also be a first floor where you can bet they display all those trophies and jerseys. The upper floor will house offices for Pete Carroll. It will be right behind Heritage Hall. No changes are planned for Heritage.

That answers most questions. Whew!

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