It's all code talk for the defensive line

Redshirt junior George Uko says the 2013 defensive line is as tight at as the unit has ever been. Uko says they know they have a lot to prove and they're ready to start...

The front seven.

They're expected to be the strength of the 2013 Trojan team, featuring seven players who all have starting experience.

"We're like brothers," said redshirt junior defensive end George Uko. "We tell each other we love each other all the time."

USC head coach Lane Kiffin commended the group throughout fall camp on their ability to stop the first team offense, singling out Uko for always "practicing like a champion."

Defensive coordinator Ed Orgeron thinks the group certainly has potential.

Uko says the unit won't know exactly where they are until they face an opponent who isn't wearing Cardinal and Gold. That will happen Aug. 29 at Hawaii.

"We worked hard," Uko said after practice Sunday. "We've done everything Coach [Orgeron] has asked and then some.

During spring practices, the Trojans converted from former defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin's 4-3 defense to new defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast's 3-4 (5-2) scheme.

"I think we have a great opportunity as a defensive line to make something special happen this year," Uko said.

Making a interesting anaology, Uko likened the bond of the defensive line to a Spanish three class. He says they've long passed Spanish one -- the basics, and even level two.

"We've surpassed the level of just communication," Uko explained. "Now we're coming up with fake signals and just different stuff to confuse the offensive linemen.

"It's stuff we've never been able to do with the defensive line before."

Orgeron says he hopes the line, which features 2012 freshman All-American Leonard Williams, has no "shining stars" this season, but functions as unit. "I hope we all play as one," Orgeron said.

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