Trojans’ run may continue next year

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson As good as the Trojans are now, they’re very young, with only 10 seniors listed on their two-deep depth chart for the Rose Bowl eight starters and two second-stringers. That means there’ll be a lot of experienced players returning even if tailbacks Bush and White, offensive tackle Justice, safety Bing and wide receiver Smith decide to go to the NFL. They have until Jan. 15 to decide. Bing and Smith are the best bets to return. Should Bing come back, it’s possible he’ll be switched to tailback, having performed impressively during a couple of practices at the position three weeks ago when Bush and White were in New York NY attending the Heisman Trophy ceremony Bush as a finalist, White to capture the experience. “Next year’s going to be a great year for ‘SC football again,” said linebacker Dallas Sartz, who gets a do-over as a senior because he sustained a season-ending shoulder injury early in the second game of this season. What if the likes of Bush, White, Justice, Bing and Smith leave? “Then we’ll have good people filling in for them,” Sartz said. “I wouldn’t expect a drop-off, really. I wouldn’t expect the coach to let that happen. The way coach Carroll’s philosophy is, it’s tougher on the practice field than on Saturdays.” A week before his No. 1 Trojans play No. 2 Texas in the Rose Bowl, Carroll agreed to a five-year contract extension. “He’s sitting so great at that university. What he’s done with that program is unprecedented,” said Anthony Davis, a star tailback at USC from 1972-74. “If he ever calls on me, I’m there. He’s a diamond, I’ll tell you.” Should the Trojans beat the Longhorns on Wednesday in a matchup of 12-0 teams, it will give them a 35-game winning streak and an unprecedented three straight national championships heading into next season. USC will have a new quarterback because Leinart, the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner and a three-year starter, is graduating. Third-year sophomore John David Booty, who has been watching, waiting and learning for three years, will compete with highly regarded freshman Mark Sanchez for the job. Possibilities at tailback besides Bing are Hershel Dennis, Michael Coleman, Desmond Reed and Chauncey Washington. And that doesn’t include any incoming freshmen. Dennis started in 2003 ahead of then-freshmen Bush and White. Like Sartz, he has one year of eligibility remaining. “It’s always tough to lose key players,” Sartz said. “There’s a lot of talent here, and the new guys will certainly help. Coach Carroll tells new guys they’re going to be playing, and they will. None of our linebackers redshirted this year.” If the Trojans beat Texas, they’ll have a chance to tie the record 47-game winning streak achieved by Oklahoma from 1953-57 by winning their 12 regular-season games next fall. “This is what we pointed to, really, 12 months ago,” Carroll said of his team qualifying for the national championship game in the Rose Bowl. If Carroll is saying the same thing a year from now, the Trojans will be on the verge of making history. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img LOS ANGELES (AP) Matt Leinart will leave after the Rose Bowl and a lot of his USC teammates might follow him. Yet even if stars such as Reggie Bush, LenDale White, Winston Justice, Darnell Bing and Steve Smith pass up their final year of eligibility to turn pro, don’t expect USC to falter anytime soon. “They’ll be good whether I’m here next year or not,” Justice said. That seems likely for several reasons first and foremost the man at the top, coach Pete Carroll, who has guided USC to a 48-3 record since the start of the 2002 season. last_img

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