We’ve already listed seven through 12 of the Top 12 football players at the University of Southern California Trojans, heading into 2013 (see related articles). As stated before, last season did not go the way the men of Troy, along with its fans and Alumni had pictured – but, 2013 is looking like a season of redemption.
The six through 12 list of players who will try to lead the Trojans back to their rightful place in the Pac-12 Conference was inundated by offensive linemen – three to be exact. However, the top six is more of a balance, being mostly offensive skill positions and defensive linemen.
Let’s take a look at who will be the likely stars at USC next season. As before, they’re listed from the bottom up with number one the last but certainly not the least. Again, if you missed it, see related stories below for players seven through 12.
Source: University of Southern California
2013 USC Trojan Football Top 12 Players – 7 Through 12
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As a freshman last season, he started on the bench but that didn’t last long. Before the season was over, he was one of the best players on the defense and ended up Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. The 6’5” 270 pound athletic lineman was a tackle most of the time in 2012 but will probably play defensive end this year. He will be counted on as one of the defenses key stoppers all year.
The fourth-year junior will be starting for the third year in-a-row. A very athletic 6’1” 235 pound linebacker, Pullard has been consistently the best defensive player at USC over the past couple seasons. Now, as an inside linebacker, the intense tackler who’s already a team leader, will be counted on to be in the middle of the action in 2013.
Yes, we’re jumping the gun since we don’t have an official announcement by head coach Lane Kiffin as to who will lead the offense at quarterback. However, anyone who watched spring practice understands that the 6’1″ 215 pound Kessler has jumped ahead of his two other teammates. Cody is a take-charge leader who makes the right decisions and is a playmaker if needed. Listed as a top six quarterback in the Pac-12, Kessler has waited his turn and should be one of the keys to making the Trojans offense efficient in 2013.
The 5’10” 200 pound senior running back is as solid of a runner as there is in college football. In fact, a major ESPN NFL analyst ranks him as the number one back in the country as far as next year’s draft is concerned. A hard north south type runner who still has moves, Redd is strong for his size and though he’s not fast, he is quick and makes a lot of tacklers miss. He shared the tailback spot for some of the time last year but will be more of the go-to guy in 2013.
The 6’2” 250 pound defensive lineman was a nobody a year ago and his unassuming nature – other than on the field – didn’t make his name jump off the page as a JC transfer. Oh, how a year has changed things. The senior was recently considered a Top 10 draft choice in next year’s NFL draft (source: Sports Illustrated). Last year saw an unrelenting player with a motor that doesn’t stop and Breslin will be one of the premier pass rushers in college football this season.
1. Marqise Lee
Yeah, this one is easy. Lee will likely go into this coming season as the one of the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy. The 6’0” 195 pound junior wide receiver is a special player that makes something out of nothing – and does it often. Whatever other superfluous words you can think of will only describe part of the magnificence that is Marqise Lee. A game-changing athlete, he will be a phenomenal player for as long as he wants to be.