2013 College Football Preview
OFFENSE: Matt Barkley-QB, Curtis McNeal-TB, Khaled Holmes-C, Robert Woods-WR (NFL)
DEFENSE: Wes Horton-DE, Jawanza Starling-SS, T.J. McDonald-FS, Kyle Negrete-P, Nickell Robey-CB (NFL)
WR Marqise Lee
Marqise Lee / Defensive Line

If winning the Biletnikoff Award as a junior doesn't say it...Marqise Lee is hands down the best receiver in the country. USC made a descent living off getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Senior OLB Morgan Breslin can hang with the best of them and there are many other talents spread across this front.


The Matt Barkley era is over. Only two quarterbacks on the current roster, Wittek and Kessler, have attempted passes. Max Wittek gets the early nod after filling in for an injured Barkley versus Notre Dame in the finale. All the incumbents are former high school super stars. Next please...

DE Morgan Breslin
Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Max Wittek-So (6-4, 235) Cody Kessler-So (6-1, 215) / Max Browne-Fr (6-5, 215)
FB Soma Vainuku-So (6-0, 265) Jahleel Pinner-So (5-11, 240)
TB Silas Redd-Sr (5-10, 200) Justin Davis-Fr (6-1, 200), D.J. Morgan-Jr (5-10, 190)
WR Marqise Lee-Jr (6-0, 195) Darreus Rogers-Fr (6-2, 210)
WR Nelson Agholor-So (6-0, 185) De'Von Flournoy-Sr (6-0, 185)
TE Xavier Grimble-Jr (6-5, 250) Randall Telfer-Jr (6-4, 250) / Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick-So (6-4, 255)
OT Aundrey Walker-Jr (6-6, 300) Nathan Guertler-Jr (6-5, 280)
OG Max Tuerk-So (6-6, 285) Giovanni Di Poalo-Jr (6-4, 275)
C Marcus Martin-Jr (6-3, 310) Cyrus Hobbi-So (6-3, 285)
OG John Martinez-Sr (6-2, 310) Jordan Simmons-RFr (6-4, 335)
OT Kevin Graf-Sr (6-6, 295) Chad Wheeler-RFr (6-7, 275)
K Andre Heidari-Jr (5-10, 210) Alex Wood-So (5-10, 175)
Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Leonard Williams-So (6-5, 290) J.R. Tavai-Jr (6-2, 270)
NT Antwaun Woods-So (6-0, 310) Cody Temple-So (6-2, 300)
DE George Uko-Jr (6-3, 275) Charles Burks-So (5-11, 230)
OLB Morgan Breslin-Sr (6-2, 250) Kevin Greene-Sr (6-4, 255)
MLB Hayes Pullard-Jr (6-1, 230) Will Andrew-Sr (6-2, 220)
WLB Lamar Dawson-Jr (6-2, 230) Anthony Sarao-So (6-0, 215)
OLB Devon Kennard-Sr (6-3, 255) Jabari Ruffin-RFr (6-3, 225)
CB Anthony Brown-Jr (5-9, 180) Devian Shelton-RFr (6-1, 185)
CB Torin Harris-Sr (6-0, 190) Kevon Seymour-So (6-0, 175)
SS Dion Bailey-Jr (6-0, 210) Gerald Bowman-Sr (6-1, 215) / Su'a Cravens-Fr (6-1, 215)
FS Josh Shaw-Jr (6-1, 195) Demetrius Wright-Sr (6-1, 195) / Leon McQuay-Fr (6-1, 190)
P Kris Albarado-So (5-10, 200) Joey Krassenstein-So (6-3, 210)


  • The Matt Barkley era has finally moved on. The good news behind center is that the men of Troy trying to replace him carry quite the usual high standard blue chip resume. Sophomore Max Wittek is a former Mater Dei product and Super Prep All-American. The other, sophomore Cody Kessler, was also a California product Super Prep All-American. A'int recruiting grand?
  • This will continue to be a running-back-by-committee. Former Penn State transfer Silas Redd heads the group. With a new quarterback stepping in USC needs to get more production out of this bunch.
  • Marquise Lee could be playing on Sundays already but he will have to spend one more season toying with overmatched college covermen. USC's first ever Biletnikoff Award winner is hands down the best receiver in America.
  • The offensive line only lost one starter. This unit has proven to be exceptional at pass protection but falls way short on the run blocking. Coaches have made it known they wish to get back to the old days where physical domination up front is what grinds the championship mill. The talent is here but the results haven't been thus far under Kiffin.
  • Clay Helton has been promoted to offensive coordinator although Lane Kiffin is most likely going to maintain play-calling duties.
  • The coaching staff took another direction on defense too as father Monte Kiffin was replaced as coordinator by Clancy Pendergast, a coach who knows the Pac 12 well and who also has plans on shaking up this defense. The new 5-2 scheme with outside linebackers, tackles as ends and two-year staring linebacker Dion Bailey moving to strong safety will be a very aggressive mindset.
  • Defensively USC has fallen short. Granted the numbers aren't bad, but they certainly are not what is to be expected from a No. 1 ranked preseason team of which USC was tabbed just last summer. No one is still quite sure how to evaluate what effect the NCAA sanctions had or will have on the Trojans. Based on the recruiting class USC just hauled in don't look for a drop-off anytime soon.
  • After failing to meet such lofty expectations in 2012 some might wonder how USC can crawl back into such a descent ranking from the depths of the unranked without their star quarterback. The depth chart speaks for itself. With 15 starters set to return, and many of them being a Who's Who of former high school All-Americans, leaving them out of the Top 25 for 2013 just doesn't make sense.



Aug. 29 - at Hawai'i
Sept. 7 - Washington State
Sept. 14 - Boston College
Sept. 21 - Utah State
Sept. 28 - at Arizona State
Oct. 10 - Arizona
Oct. 19 - at Notre Dame
Oct. 26 - Utah
Nov. 1 - at Oregon State
Nov. 9 - at California
Nov. 16 - Stanford
Nov. 23 - at Colorado
Nov. 30 - UCLA