USC Football Roundup: Four Trojans named preseason All-Pac-12 and more (5/22)

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images /

Four Trojans were named to Athlon’s preseason All-Pac-12 first team while recent freshman QB trends look good. Here’s the USC football roundup for May 22nd.

It’s officially preseason all-everything season in college football. And it’s always a good thing when that’s a busy time for USC Football.

On Tuesday, Athlon Sports released their preseason All-Pac-12 first, second, third and fourth teams and no surprise a bunch of Trojans littered the ranks.

First-teamers for USC include center Toa Lobendahn, defensive lineman Christian Rector, linebacker Cameron Smith and safety Marvell Tell.

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Smith and Tell were on the Athlon All-Pac-12 first team for 2017 while Lobendahn and Rector finished on the second team.

The Trojans also placed a quartet of preseason second-teamers including cornerback Iman Marshall, all-purpose player Stephen Carr, receiver Tyler Vaughns and kick returner Velus Jones Jr.

There was a bit of a head-scratcher with Porter Gustin making the third team on the defensive line. No offense to Rector, but Gustin trailing him on the All-Pac-12 preseason team feels like a stretch. Gustin’s return from injury could explain that in part, but his spring performance put to bed any lingering health concerns.

Chuma Edoga also made the third team offensive line while lineman Chris Brown and linebacker John Houston appear on the fourth team.

Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list

The arrival of preseason all-everything season also announces the start of award watch list season.

The Lott IMPACT Trophy named their 2018 watch list with Smith and Gustin expected to vie for the award named for USC legend Ronnie Lott.

Considering Lott’s connection to the trophy, it’s high past time the Trojans had a winner having gone 14 years without one.

Comeback players

Speaking of Gustin, the Trojan pass rusher is among the players Bleacher Report pegs with bounce back potential.

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An underrated miss for USC, Gustin went from leading the team with 13 tackles for loss in 2016 to only notching 16 total tackle in 2017 thanks to a long injury layoff.

Five-star QB transfers

There’s been recent discussion over the trend of five-star quarterbacks transferring to chase playing time ever since Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa admitted he’d considered transferring before the national title game.

CBS Sports’ Barton Simmons broke that phenomenon down, and it’s a good read on its own merits. But the most interesting line for Trojan fans is somewhat unrelated:

“Five of the last seven national championship games have featured either a true freshman or redshirt freshman starting under center.”

That should be an encouraging stat as two of USC’s three quarterback options for 2018, Jack Sears and JT Daniels, are freshman of the redshirt and true variety respectively.

New Years Eve in San Diego?

It’s definitely not El Paso on New Years Eve, so that’s something, but Sporting News predicts USC will play in the Holiday Bowl this year on Dec. 31.

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That’s not the best outcome the Trojans will be hoping for in 2018, but it’s also not the worst.

Trojan Trivia

USC’s record for the most games lost on the final play of regulation in a season was set in 2010 when the Trojans fell to Washington and Stanford on last-second field goals.