FS: T.J. McDonald
USC’s only All-American safety of the 2010s is an easy first-team pick for the safety slot on the All-Decade team.
T.J. McDonald had big shoes to fill as the son of Trojan All-American Tim McDonald. He started to deliver on that pedigree in 2010 with an All-Pac-10 first team selection from Phil Steele after leading USC with 89 tackles.
In 2011, he took it to the next level when Sporting News and Pro Football Weekly voted him to their All-American first team. The All-American nod was warranted. As USC stormed to an exceptional season, McDonald was the captain of the defense, leading the team with three interceptions.
He returned in 2012 and topped the team with 112 tackles, the most by a Trojan since Troy Polamalu in 2001.
2nd-Team FS: Marvell Tell III
For a time it seemed that Marvell Tell could contend with McDonald for All-Decade impact. His career began strongly enough, featuring heavily as a freshman before taking over a starting role as a sophomore in 2016. By 2017, Tell was an All-Pac-12 first teamer and returned in 2017 with All-American hopes. However, the Trojan captain contended with injury as USC faltered across the board in 2018.
3rd-Team: Jawanza Starling
Jawanza Starling started 33 games for the Trojans from 2010 to 2012, most famously returning a fumble 80 yards for a touchdown against Notre Dame in 2011.