Where are they now: USC Football Alum

Part one of Scout's look back on the past decade of USC football alum. We know you're wondering "Where are they now?"

Where are they now: USC Football Alum A look back at the past decade of USC football players. Parts two and three will be up throughout the week...

2000 NFL Draft.
The Trojans went 5-7 under Head Coach Paul Hackett in the 1999 season.
Drafted in the first round of the 2000 NFL Draft, R.Jay Soward suffered some substance abuse issues and never made a big statement in the league. After getting treatment for his alcoholism, he played in the Canadian Football League for two seasons and now plays in the Indoor Football League.

Guard Travis Claridge was a top lineman, having received the Morris Trophy while at USC. He started on the line as a true freshman, a remarkable feat, and eventually played well for the Atlanta Falcons for four seasons. An injury set Claridge back, and after two games in the Canadian Football League, Claridge was found dead in his home in Las Vegas.

The "Not for Long" league was crystal clear to Windrell Hayes, who played two seasons for the New York Jets and one for the Green Bay Packers after being drafted in the fifth round.

Chad Morton, younger brother of Trojan receiver Johnnie (11-year NFL veteran), played as a running back and on special teams for six seasons. He is currently on the Green Bay Packers coaching staff.

Safety David Gibson played 3 seasons in the NFL, with the Buccaneers and Colts. He was a sixth round pick. He is an alum of USC feeder Mater Dei.

2001 NFL Draft.
The Trojans went 6-5 under then head coach Hackett.

Markus Steele, a linebacker, was drafted in the fourth round this year, and played four seasons in the NFL, on both the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos. He currently works for a trucking company called Mason Dixon Intermodal.

For the first four years out of college Zeke Moreno, a "mike" linebacker for the Trojans, played in the NFL on various teams, mainly with the San Diego Chargers. From 2007-2009 Moreno played on teams in the Canadian Football League. If you drive north on the coast from Los Angeles, you can still catch Moreno playing football, as a member of the United Football League's Sacramento Mountain Lions (where Trojans Tom Malone, Keary Colbert and Will Poole also play).

Defensive tackle Ennis Davis had various reports about his work ethic and mentality prior to the 2000 NFL Draft. Despite the rumors, he was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the seventh round. Unfortunately Davis did not end up playing a season in the NFL.

2002 NFL Draft.

The beginning of the Pete Carroll era, the Trojans split their season (6-6) under a new head coach.

Only two draftees in this class, first was cornerback Kris Richard, who has spent much time with his former coach. A former Serra product (fellow alum include Trojans Marqise Lee, Robert Woods, George Farmer, Da'John Harris), Richard was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks (85th overall) after playing at USC. He then went back to USC as a secondary coach under Carroll after four seasons in the league. Currently, he works under Carroll as the secondary coach for his former team, the Seattle Seahawks.

Chris Cash was drafted a bit later than Richard (175th overall). Despite playing with NFL teams for four seasons, injuries nagged the cornerback and he retired. Currently, he is an assistant football coach for his alma mater, Franklin High School, in Stockon, Calif.

2003 NFL Draft.
The Trojans were making their way back to the top, going 11-2 under Carroll during the 2002 season.

A loaded draft class, three of the five draftees are still playing in the NFL and two are some of the most notable names in USC football history.

Carson Palmer, the Bengals quarterback, Heisman Trophy winner and number-one overall pick, is still in the league. He is still the Bengals' main signalcaller, although recent reports have suggested that he might not continue playing with his former team after the NFL lockout recedes.

Troy Polamalu is one of the few defensive players in the NFL that seems to be a household name. A dominant safety on the Pittsburgh Steelers, Polamalu was a pivotal force in the Steelers' two championships, in 2006 and 2009 (as well as the 2011 Super Bowl runner-up). He is one of the league's most marketable players, and continues to enjoy a successful football career.

Justin Fargas went two rounds after Palmer and Polamalu (drafted 96th overall) but maintained a long career as a running back with the Oakland Raiders. He practiced with various teams as a free agent last year, but is not listed as a current player in the league.
Kareem Kelly was a great receiver for the USC Trojans but his accolades and talent never transferred professionally. After being drafted by the Saints in the sixth round, Kelly was soon released and played on various AFL teams but as of 2010 he was released.

Malaefou MacKenzie was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars, but was soon released and played on the practice squad of the New England Patriots. He is not currently listed on any roster in the NFL, AFL or CFL.

2004 NFL Draft.
The Trojans went 12-1 under Carroll, winning the 2004 Rose Bowl.

Kenechi Udeze was drafted 20th overall in this year's draft. He retired from the NFL after four seasons because of a serious illness. Udeze received his degree from USC in 2010 and is now a strength and conditioning coach with the Washington Huskies, under former USC offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian.
Two USC players were taken in the second round, tackle Jacob Rogers and receiver Keary Colbert. Rogers played just two games with the Cowboys, but suffered an injury and was released in 2006. He became a volunteer assistant at the University of Mississippi and an offensive line coach at Central Connecticut State.

After being drafted in the second round by the Carolina Panthers, Colbert played for four seasons in the NFL before he became the tight ends coach at USC in 2010. Colbert is currently attempting an football comeback, joining Zeke Moreno and other Trojans playing with the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the UFL.

The final draftee out of this class is Will Poole, drafted by the Dolphins in the fourth round. He spent three seasons in the NFL, mainly battling through injury, and eventually moved onto the CFL. Now, he is a member of the UFL's Mountain Lions.

USCFootball.com Top Stories