Quarterback review: post-spring recap

While Heisman hopeful John David Booty sits atop of the quarterback ladder; Sanchez, Corp and Mustain will all compete in hopes of taking over for Booty when his time at SC is done.

John David Booty's starting spot is in no danger after a breakthrough performance in the Rose Bowl, earning him a spot on the Heisman Watch List but the quarterback situation at USC is about to get a lot more interesting with the arrivals of Arkansas transfer Mitch Mustain and Orange Lutheran graduate Aaron Corp to eventually compete with Mark Sanchez. There are plenty of story lines heading into the fall camp, but the quarterback competition will be one I monitor very closely.

John David Booty - Sr. - Booty did a lot of great things in only his first year as full time starter, but he will need to continue his progression as the leader of this team if the Trojans are going to make a return appearance in this year's national championship game. Booty spent the entirety of his spring getting familiar with a whole new set of weapons after the loss of the Dwayne Jarrett and Steve Smith, the Trojan's top two pass catchers a year ago. Players such as David Ausberry, Travon Patterson, Vidal Hazelton and Patrick Turner all showed that they have the potential to dominate, proving that the Trojans are reloading and not rebuilding. A lot of the team's success this upcoming fall will depend on the receivers and their production, and I look for the transition to be rather smooth with the opener against Idaho being ground zero for the Trojans to unleash their young and talented group of wide receivers. Booty was 15-17 for 146 yards in the annual Trojan Huddle, throwing for two touchdowns and two interceptions on the day.

Mark Sanchez - So. - Sanchez has put in his time in the cardinal and gold, and with the John David Booty approaching his senior season, the time for Sanchez to stake his claim as the starting quarterback is rapidly approaching. The former Mission Viejo star was impressive during the spring, especially after reports had surfaced that Sanchez had a potentially serious back injury to deal with. Sanchez has been productive ever since his arrival at SC, but the competition will be a lot harder this time around, as he will need to battle off Arkansas transfer Mitch Mustain and Orange Lutheran graduate Aaron Corp. When all is said and done, I expect Sanchez to be named the starter when the 2008 campaign is ready to kick off.

Michael McDonald - Sr. - Former walk-on Michael McDonald quarterback may not get the same amount of recognition as the aforementioned Booty and Sanchez, but his role may be just as important. McDonald is seemingly always driving his offensive unit down the field, providing valuable experience for a defense that is rated at the top of nearly every "insider's" board. McDonald is approaching his final season as in a Trojan uniform, but I do not see him going out without tossing at least one more touchdown pass come Saturdays.

Garrett Green - So. - Green's main dilemma since his arrival at SC has been finding a position to stick with, taking part in what now seems to be a game of positional musical chairs. Green has alternated time between safety and quarterback, but this spring he exclusively worked out as a quarterback. Green may make a return to safety with the arrivals of Mustain and Corp, as safety may be a position of greater need by the time fall camp rolls around.

The arrivals of Mitch Mustain and Aaron Corp provide a scenario unfamiliar to most Trojan faithful, a quarterback spot that is at least 3-4 deep with talented gunslingers. Mustain will be forced to red shirt the upcoming season, while Corp is looking like a potential red shirt candidate as well.

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