Trio of Trojans Named to Pro Bowl

No player or team wants to be out of contention for the Super Bowl, but three USC alumni in Ryan Kalil, Clay Matthews and Troy Polamalu earned a nice consolation prize: a trip to Hawaii for the 2012 Pro Bowl.

No player or team wants to be out of contention for the Super Bowl, but three USC alumni in Ryan Kalil, Clay Matthews and Troy Polamalu earned a nice consolation prize: a trip to Hawaii for the 2012 Pro Bowl.

The trio continues to see NFL success. Just a year ago, Polamalu and Matthews were facing off in the 2011 Super Bowl and Ryan Kalil was given the Carolina Panthers' franchise tag, making him the highest paid center in the league.

Matthews recorded 55 total tackles in the regular and postseason combined. Three of his four career interceptions came in the 2011 season and he added six sacks onto his nearly 30-career sack count.

Polamalu gets everywhere, seemingly every week. During the regular season, the safety had a whopping 91 total tackles, 16 deflected passes and two interceptions. His 91 total tackles were his best since the 2005 season.

As an offensive lineman, there aren't any tangible statistics to collect for Kalil. Except one in Cam Newton. Kalil helped the rookie quarterback grow and look like a seasoned veteran in a single year at the helm for the Panthers. So much of Newton's ability to be a dual threat signalcaller has to be attributed to Kalil, who clearly passed on his five years of NFL wisdom to the Heisman winner.

A number of other Trojans also had success this season, including Houston Texans' Brian Cushing and Shaun Cody, the Cincinnati Bengals' Rey Maualuga and some others.

As for the newbies? Dallas Cowboys' offensive tackle Tyron Smith was named to the Professional Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team and Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Jurrell Casey became a major contributor late in the season.

While there are no Trojans playing in this year's Super Bowl between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots, cornerback Terrell Thomas is on the Giants' injured reserve list.

According to the university's blog there will be USC connections among the two teams' training staff. Former longtime USC athletic trainer Byron Hanser is the Giants rehabilitation coordinator and current Trojans' neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Apuzzo will act as a league consultant.

To see the full Pro Bowl roster, click here:


USCFootball.com Top Stories