Sep 14, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; USC Trojans defensive end Leonard Williams (94) chases Boston College Eagles quarterback Chase Rettig (11) out of the pocket during second quarter action at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

USC Morning Briefing: Trojans No. 14 in Athlon Preseason Rankings and Other Bullets

Three & Out:

  1. McShay’s Mock: Todd McShay’s way-to-early and totally meaningless 2015 NFL mock draft features a pair of USC underclassmen. McShay projects stud defensive lineman Leonard Williams, who was just named to the Lott IMPACT Award watch list, as the top overall pick. Just a few picks later, he has wide out Nelson Agholor being selected at No. 11. Of course, Matt Barkley and Marqise Lee were both projected among the top draft picks years ago and so we all know how much stack to put into mock drafts, which are one of the most inexact sciences that exist in today’s modern world. Still, the projection speaks to the wealth of talent Williams possesses. At the same time, with hype comes pressure to impress, every down of every game. Jadeveon Clowney had the last laugh cashing in on his No. 1 projection, but he also had to live through a year of criticism and nitpicking on his way there.
  2. Athlon’s Rank: Athlon Sports is rolling out their 2014 preseason poll this week, Thursday revealing the USC Trojans ranked No. 14 in the country and projected to finish second in the Pac-12 South. USC slotted in at No. 25 in the final BCS rankings of this past season. Despite losing Marqise Lee and other valuable underclassmen, the Trojans will be expected to improve on last year’s showing, mostly because there are no anticipated coaching changes to deal with. There is also plenty of optimism surrounding Steve Sarkisian’s uptempo offense and a much-improved defense to build upon.
  3. Transfer Policy: Wednesday became the day of the transfer as running back Ty Isaac revealed his intentions to transfer from USC while news broke that quarterback Max Wittek had run into a hiccup with his planned transfer to Texas. What makes it all more interesting is the restrictions that have and have not been placed on the two different players. We don’t know what cause Texas to end their interest in Wittek, but we do know that he’s left with Hawaii and Lousville as possible destinations. We also know that Wittek’s interest in Fresno State was quashed by a restriction limited him from transferring to schools which have USC on their schedule in the next two years. Interestingly enough, no such restrictions appear in play for Isaac, who could flip to rival Notre Dame, much like Amir Carlisle did a few years ago. Is this a double standard? Or does USC differentiate policy based on reasoning — Wittek is leaving for graduate school while Isaac’s departure is at least partly related to his ailing mother.

They said it:

“I’ve been released from my scholarship at USC, It was based on a family decision. My mom isn’t well so I wanted to be closer to my family. I really enjoyed my time at USC but it’s decision that I had to make and I made it.”

— Ty Isaac (via CBSsports)

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