USC has a very young and inexperienced but talented football team in 2011.
Due to smaller recruiting classes during the Pete Carroll years and NCAA sanctions (unprecedented “free-agency” transfer rule), the Trojans have only 13 seniors and 18 juniors.
Almost half the team are redshirts or true freshmen. Of the 80 scholarship players, only 39 have played any Division I college football.
The two biggest challenges facing the USC coaching staff are the inexperience and rebuilding the offensive line.
However, this season will be considered a disappointment if the Trojans do not win at least nine games with a tough Pac-12 schedule and Notre Dame.
The others have been arriving this summer including those who arrived early to attend summer classes, and they attended summer throwing sessions.
However, fall camp has been the best opportunity to evaluate the new freshmen, and many have had significant opportunities due to injuries or lack of depth at some positions.
There are other freshmen who have played well, but there is a need to redshirt as many freshmen as possible due to the NCAA mandated 10 reduced scholarships for each of the next three years.
For example, Amir Carlisle is a RB who has played much better than a freshman. However, there are four talented RBs in senior Marc Tyler, junior Curtis McNeal, sophomore Dillon Baxter and RS freshman D.J. Morgan. As long as they stay healthy it would be better to redshirt him.
Here are the most likely true freshmen who will start (at least one game) for the Trojans during the 2011 season.
P.S. Several readers have asked me to write about the Paul Dee hypocrisy in light of the latest alleged Miami scandal while he was AD, his recent statements and what he did to USC as the NCAA appointed chair of the COI. I haven’t done this because nothing has really changed.
Paul Dee was both a hypocrite and corrupt when the NCAA put him in charge of the COI, and USC fans have complained about that since receiving the unfair and harsh NCAA sanctions. The recent allegations simply reaffirm this and allow the media to let everyone else come to the same conclusion.