USC football’s most dominant defenders of all-time, ranked

USC football defensive lineman Leonard Williams. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
USC football defensive lineman Leonard Williams. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images) /
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Shaun Cody of USC football. (Tom Hauck/Getty Images)
Shaun Cody of USC football. (Tom Hauck/Getty Images) /

USC football’s No. 23 dominant defender: Shaun Cody

Not only was Shaun Cody one of the most pivotal players of the Carroll Era as a momentum-shifting recruiting, but he was also a dominant force as part of the famed Wild Bunch II defensive line.

A tenacious interior lineman opposite of Mike Patterson, Cody set the tone for what a defensive lineman should look like in Carroll’s defense.

But the Wild Bunch tackle wasn’t just a product of his surroundings. As a senior in 2004 after the departures of ends Kenechi Udeze and Omar Nazel, Cody led the Trojans with 10 sacks for a loss of 88 yards. His 8.8 yards per sack average stands as the second-highest among sack leaders in USC’s recorded history, just short of Marcus Cotton’s 9.5-yard average in 1985.

He recorded 31.5 tackles for loss when it was all said and done, and took home All-American honors in his final season before the Trojans went on to win their second-straight national championship in a 55-19 romp of Oklahoma.

All told, Cody won a pair of national and Pac-10 titles, was a two-time All-Pac-10 first-teamer, an All-American and blocked an incredible five field goals.

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