USC Football’s All-Sanctions Era Team

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The sanctions which rocked the USC football program in 2010 are over. Their impact was defied by the Trojan greats making Reign of Troy’s All-Sanctions Era team.

In June 2010, the USC football program was dealt a crucial blow with the NCAA’s most devastating sanctions short of a death penalty.

The Trojans were docked 30 scholarships over three years and prohibited from participating in the postseason for two seasons, as a result of what the NCAA deemed a ‘lack of institutional control’ stemming from improper benefits received by 2005 Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush, basketball star O.J. Mayo and others.

Despite the shortened seasons and low numbers brought on by the sanctions, USC still found a way to thrive. They won the Pac-12 South under Lane Kiffin in 2011, ranked No. 1 in 2012, and won 10 games in 2013. Three years later, with a team stocked of players recruited during sanctions, the Trojans won a Rose Bowl over once-penalized Penn State.

With the era of sanctions now over, Reign of Troy put together an All-Sanctions team comprised of players who were either on a bowl-banned team or wetre part of three reduced recruiting classes from 2012 to 2014.

Who made the team? Let’s start on defense…

Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images /

DE: Nick Perry (2008-11)

Despite the Trojans’ long history of producing elite talent, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more complete physical specimen at defensive end than Nick Perry.

A four-star weakside defensive end out of Detroit, he redshirted in 2008 and bulked up even further, to an impressive 6-foot-3, 250 pounds. As a freshman, Perry turned heads off the edge while helping to replace Clay Matthews. His eight sacks tied Everson Griffen for the team lead.

But Perry really came into his own during USC’s two years under the NCAA-levied bowl ban. In 2011, he led the Trojans with 13 tackles for loss to help the team win an impressive 10 games. Perry earned first-team All-Conference honors and wound up being a first-round draft pick the following spring.

Backup: J.R. Tavai (2011-14)