March 7, 2007

The Numbers Game

Although we're just a month removed from the 2007 recruiting class, we turn our attention forward to the defensive players the Trojans may recruit at for 2008.

The amount of signees in this year's class could range from 22-to-25, depending upon early NFL Draft entries. USC has already handed out several defensive scholarship offers, accepting one verbal commitment.

Defensive Tackle

Graduating seniors: Two
Possible early pros: One
Signed for 2007: Three
Needs for 2008: Two
Committed for 2008: None

How it looks: USC received good news earlier in the year when Sedrick Ellis announced he would be returning for another year. Ellis should be on most pre season All-America teams, and he'll team up with junior Fili Moala to anchor the defensive line. Moala may be the most talented defensive tackle on the roster. As he becomes more consistent, the defensive line becomes a better pass rushing threat. He could even test the waters of the draft with a big year.

Averell Spicer showed flashes of brilliance in limited action last year, while Derek Simmons and Alex Parsons will return with a year of learning under their belts. Parsons, who played in several games last year, returns as a sophomore. But note that Parsons and Simmons also have the potential to move to the offensive line if depth becomes an issue. In-coming freshmen Christian Tupou and Trey Henderson both project as d-tackles.

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