The start of the 2001 Trojan football season officially kicks off on Monday when the incoming freshmen report to campus to begin their orientation to the USC football program.
There is a lot of anticipation for this season as USC fans are anxious for a new beginning from the problems that have faced the program in recent years and the freshmen offer a lot of hope with several talented players in the initial recruiting class of Coach Pete Carroll.
Many eyes will be on the player expected to see the most action this year in defensive end Shaun Cody. Cody was named the USA Today Defensive Player of the Year after dominating as a pass rushing end and the Trojans are hoping that he will be the rush end with size that we have not had in the past few seasons. Cody will likely battle Omar Nazel and Nate Goodson for playing time opposite Lonnie Ford and Cody was on campus for much of the summer to get adjusted to the workouts at the college level.
Matt Leinart and Billy Hart are two incoming quarterbacks who are expected to redshirt unless there are injuries to Carson Palmer or Matt Cassel and the freshmen bring differing skills to the table. Leinart is the classic drop back quarterback, a talented lefty who throws an extremely accurate ball while Hart is a mobile righty, an athletic and intelligent performer who could also look to play baseball for the Trojans.
Wide receiver William Buchanan is expected to redshirt, especially with the addition of JC transfers Devin Pitts and Grant Mattos to an already deep receiver corps, but Buchanan is a solid player who will make a major contribution in future years. Keep an eye also on linebacker Austin Jackson, defensive end Jason Wardlow and corner John Walker, all are headed for redshirt seasons as well but could see action if needed.