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July 31, 2007
Fall Camp Central
The month of August signifies the start of football for thousands of Trojans fans nationwide.
As USC prepares for their first practice next Monday morning, USCFootball.com prepares Trojan fans for another run at a nation championship.
Led by Heisman candidate and returning starter quarterback John David Booty, the Trojans boast nine players on offense with starting experience. The defense, garnering far more media exposure for its veteran leadership, returns 10 starters. The last time USC was ranked No. 1 in the preseason was in 2005.
Losing in the Rose Bowl to the Texas Longhorns and narrowly missing a national championship bid in 2006, the Trojans come into the season looking to settle unfinished business two years running.
That message was made clear at PAC-10 media.
"These guys want to prove that they're worthy," Pete Carroll said of the Trojans No. 1 ranking.
That means Booty will have to do what Matt Leinart couldn't; win a national title as a graduating senior. To do so, the Shreveport (La.) native will have to return to the Super Dome - the site of his last led championship with Evangel Christian Academy.
With Steve Smith and Dwayne Jarrett's 140 receptions missing from a year ago, Booty will lean on junior wide out Patrick Turner to control opposing air space.
"Patrick Turner is a guy who was in a similar situation as me when I came in," Booty said during PAC-10 Media Day. "He was a guy who was behind Mike Williams (in 2005) and Dwayne Jarrett, who didn't get the opportunity that he thought he would get early. Now he's getting that chance. He's going to be a big-time player for us just like those other guys were."
Fall Camp Central is your one stop place to shop for for Trojan Fall Camp news, multi-media and analysis. For player interviews, photo galleries, depth-chart breakdowns, video and live practice reports, stay tuned to USCFootball.com!