USC Football: Top 15 Trojan Players to Step Up in 2011

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USC Football: Top 15 Trojan Players to Step Up in 2011
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

USC is moving on despite the unfair NCAA appeal decision, so let's discuss the Trojan football players who need to step up this year.  All that matters now is winning football games.

On April 5th, after watching spring practice film, Lane Kiffin identified seven USC football players who are star players and have NFL talent as reported by Pedro Moura of

These players include 2011 season junior quarterback Matt Barkley, sophomore WR Robert Woods, senior TE Rhett Ellison, junior DE Nick Perry, junior safety T.J. McDonald, sophomore CB Nickell Robey and junior CB Tony Burnett.

He said there was a gap between them and the other Trojan athletes.  But who are the other USC Trojan football players who will step up in 2011?

The USC Trojans have recruited better than any other team in the past decade.  The last two years have been no exception even with the harsh NCAA sanctions with No. 1 and No. 4 Rivals ranked classes.

The Trojans are loaded with talent.  Yet almost half the team include true or redshirt freshmen.

So there are a lot of unknowns going into the 2011 season.  Spring practice provided a few answers. However, as many as 20 players were missing due to injuries and there are 23 new freshmen recruits reporting this summer.

Kiffin added: "Obviously our challenge is to develop those guys, get the new guys when they come in here, get the injured guys back and develop a team.  Because right now we would not be a very good team."

Here are the top 15 “non-star” Trojan football players who will step up this season and help make this a much better team.  They are in order of how difficult it will be for them to accomplish this. Of course, the seven star NFL type players will lead the charge.

P.S. Who do you think will step up this season?

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