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Which USC Players Will Sink the Trojans' Ship if They Transfer?

Jordan LoaCorrespondent IJune 17, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 28:  Ronald Johnson #8 of the USC Trojans stiff arms Sheldon Price #22 of the UCLA Bruins in the second half at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 28, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. USC defeated UCLA 28-7.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

A post-season bowl ban and a loss of 10 scholarships a year for a total of 30 from 2011 to 2013.

What else could go wrong for newly appointed Head Coach Lane Kiffin?

Players transferring from your program.

The transfer attention falls on 17 players on the Trojans' roster who are eligible to transfer.

Most of those names would make a huge dent not only in the Trojans' roster, but also on their success.

But which players will make the most impact should they choose to hightail it out of Los Angeles?

Ronald Johnson

In three seasons with the Trojans, Johnson has been a reliable target for QBs John David Booty, Mark Sanchez, and now Matt Barkley: He has 74 receptions, 1,058 yards, and 12 TDs.

His numbers in 2009 were disappointing, as he only had 378 yards on 34 receptions with three TDs.

Johnson missed five games in 2009 due to a broken collarbone suffered during a scrimmage.

Had Johnson not missed those five games, his 2009 numbers probably would have been astounding. Who knows, the Trojans may have even won against Washington.

Either way, if Johnson splits, that's a dependable, solid target taken away from a sophomore QB, which equals fewer offensive options and points for USC.

C.J. Gable

Remember the stable of RBs USC had last season and in 2008? Well, Gable is the only one remaining from that stable.

Gable's numbers in 2009 were nothing short of depressing, with 102 yards on 24 attempts and absolutely zero TDs.

Gable missed six games in 2009, and didn't play more than two games in a row.

However, Gable's career numbers with the Trojans are much better.

In his four year career with USC, Gable has 1,296 yards on 255 carries, and 12 TDs.

His career numbers aren't jaw-dropping, but he was also sharing a lot of those carries.

Plus, his career numbers are good enough to be missed if he decides to transfer.

If Gable transfers, then the featured back will most likely be Allen Bradford.

Still, USC's offense will miss Gable's solid running if he's gone.

Stanley Havili:

Havili is kind of like an offensive lineman: He's important to the offense, but isn't included in the spotlight with the offensive play makers.

However, Havili should definitely be included in the offensive playmaker spotlight.

He has had an excellent career with the Trojans, and has developed into an extremely dependable fullback capable of making big plays and scoring lots of points.

Havili has put in four years with the Trojans from 2006 to 2009, and in those four years, he has collected 343 rushing yards on 55 attempts with two TDs.

But the passing game is where Havili did most of his damage. Havili has 894 receiving yards on 84 receptions and 10 TDs. He averaged 10 yards per reception in those four years.

Just like Johnson and Gable, Havili's numbers aren't amazing, but his production and reliability would surely be missed.

T.J. Bryant

Bryant would be a big loss for USC. He's only a sophomore, and has plenty of time to develop into a terrifying CB for opposing offenses.

In 2009, Bryant showed he was much improved from 2008.

His 20 tackles in 2009 jumped from a mere seven in 2008. However, Bryant did have an interception in 2008, which he returned for 55 yards.

I know only having 20 tackles in a season isn't anything to get too terribly excited about, but the kid's got potential.

He improved his tackles by 13 in 2009. Who knows what it could be in 2010 and beyond.

Bottom line here is that Bryant has nowhere to go put up and USC would really feel the sting of his departure.

Drew McAllister

McAllister is another defensive player with tons of potential and is also only a sophomore like Bryant. 

At the safety spot, McAllister has 29 tackles, one forced fumble, and three interceptions in his two seasons with the Trojans.

In his first season in the secondary, McAllister had 16 tackles and three interceptions. Three interceptions is pretty good for your first season.

If McAllister decides to hang around USC for a bit longer, he just might be the next Taylor Mays. Mays was known for delivering hits that knocked the fillings out of opposing receivers.

With any luck, McAllister will stay in Los Angeles and become the next iconic Safety.

Jurrell Casey

The Trojans' defense would really miss Casey plugging up the holes along the defensive line.

Casey is a sophomore DT who had a great 2009 season with 54 tackles, four sacks, and two forced fumbles.

In his two-year career that began in 2008, Casey has a total of 66 tackles and three forced fumbles.

There really is no limit to Casey's potential as an interior defensive lineman.

I mean, he went from 12 tackles in 2008 to 54 tackles in 2009.

The guy's got a serious talent for getting after the QB.

Malcolm Smith

Smith brings leadership and three years' playing experience to the 2010 squad.

As a Junior LB, Smith's numbers have been decent since his first season in 2007, where he only had five tackles. In 2008, he had 18 tackles.

And in 2009, he had 66 tackles.

Yes, 66.

The only area of concern is the lack of turnovers he produces.

In his three seasons with USC, Smith only has one forced fumble and one interception.

By the way, he doesn't have any sacks.

Despite low turnover numbers and no sacks, Smith is still a formidable player who's there to make a play.

Final Analysis

Even though the majority of the players eligible for transfer are Juniors and Seniors, they bring a lot of experience and leadership to the table, which is a good thing considering how young and inexperienced this Trojans team is.

I think the defense would take a much bigger hit if Bryant, Smith, and Casey left because of the great amount of potential these guys possess.

For now, it's just a waiting game to see just how bad off USC really is.

To read more of Jordan's work, click here.

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