Senior Bowl paying attention to 6 USC football players in particular

Travis Dye, USC Football, USC Trojans
Travis Dye, USC Football, USC Trojans / Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 Senior Bowl Watch List came out and it has six different USC football players on it. Of course, the Senior Bowl is the game that's played after the season by all the seniors who have a shot at the NFL.

It's of course more than a game too, and something really valuable for the seniors to be at. Travis Dye, Terrell Bynum, Brett Neilon, Andrew Vorhees, Shane Lee, and Mekhi Blackmon were the six incoming seniors with the Trojans selected.

It's refreshing to see the two defensive selections be there, as Blackmon has already proven himself to be a productive corner. He was a captain at Colorado, and comes to USC via the portal after picking up 56 tackles, two interceptions, 10 PDs, and a fumble recovery in his last two seasons (14 games largely due to the pandemic-shortened 2020 season).

Lee has also been productive in the past, it just hasn't been since 2019 due to an injury that kept him down on the loaded Alabama LB depth chart even when he was healthy. It's right of the Senior Bowl to remember Lee though, as his 2019 season led to him being selected as a freshman All-American. He recorded 86 tackles (6.5 for loss), 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and a pick.

One of USC football's offensive selections was key in particular as well.

That USC football selection that stood out was Bynum. Because, everybody expected Dye, Vorhees, and Neilon to be there. Heck, Dye led the conference in scrimmage yards last year at Oregon (1,673), and had 16 rushing touchdowns (two receiving touchdowns).

As for Neilon, he didn't allow a single sack last year in 534 snaps. That's the most out of any Power 5 center in the nation without giving up a sack. Vorhees only gave up one, despite having to constantly rotate between the Left Guard and Left Tackle spot. He was the only lineman in the country to post BOTH a 90+ pass-blocking grade AND a 90+ run-blocking grade.

Bynum, though, has kind of flown under the radar in his career. There wasn't an 100% guarantee that he would be selected to the Watch List, as he hasn't been with a big program until he transferred to USC this offseason. He's productive, though, averaging at least 16.3 yards per reception in each of his last two seasons in a pedestrian Washington passing offense.

A four-star receiver out of powerhouse St. John Bosco, he now is with a program and offensive coach that can actually develop him. It was important for the Senior Bowl to remember him, as he will certainly turn heads if he gets the chance to go. He has real breakout potential this season at USC.

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All six of these players deserved to be on the list. The majority of them have already proven to be strong players, and even the ones who haven't have shown enough flashes to where they need to be on everyones' radars. USC is going to need their seniors to be strong this year and lead the way if they want to return to dominance in 2022.