The Football Factory Churns Another Nine
NFL representatives gathered in New York for the annual 3-day shopping spree more commonly known as the NFL Draft. One by one, they added items to the cart until the limits were met. After surveying the wares, it was quickly noted that the 2011 model Trojan was just as fashionable as its predecessors. And when new is grouped with old, the Southern California product elevated to become the most popular choice in draft history.
Grinding in the midst of controversy, penalty, and adversity, the NFL football factory remained fully operational without pause. Fresh off the program’s assembly line, nine new Trojans were selected in the 2011 draft, increasing the all time total to 472. That overall number surpasses Notre Dame by three, making USC the draft’s most popular brand since league inception in 1936.
This year’s group was bottom heavy, with five of the nine exiting the board in the final two rounds. That includes a run of three Trojans selected with consecutive picks in round seven. The NFL’s newest additions are listed below, along with their teams, selections, original recruiting grade and class.
|Tyron Smith||OT||Cowboys||1||9||5-star | 2008|
|Jurrell Casey||DT||Titans||3||77||4-star | 2008|
|Shareece Wright||CB||Chargers||3||89||4-star | 2006|
|Jordan Cameron||TE||Browns||4||102||-none | 2006|
|Ronald Johnson||WR||49ers||6||182||5-star | 2007|
|Allen Bradford||RB||Bucs||6||187||5-star | 2006|
|StanleyHavili||FB||Eagles||7||240||4-star | 2006|
|David Ausberry||WR||Raiders||7||241||4-star | 2006|
|Malcolm Smith||LB||Seahawks||7||242||4-star | 2007|
The weekend results were not celebratory for all USC draft eligible. Kristofer O’Dowd, C.J. Gable, and Michael Morgan were among the names that went undrafted. The disappointment is only escalated by an NFL lockout, which disallows the signing of undrafted free agents until league business resumes. They join other notable names across the country, such as Noel Devine, John Clay, and Mark Herzlich, who also failed to receive an NFL call.
The nine Trojans selected tied North Carolina for schools having the most players chosen in this year’s event. Sanctions were imposed on USC nearly a year ago, and an ongoing investigation in Chapel Hill may result in the same for the Tar Heels. Coincidental? Most likely. But it does deliver another subtle message to the NCAA and its committee on infractions, as a demonstration of power by those frisked and disarmed. That post-it note may not scream loud, is of few words, and most won’t even see it. But I’m pretty sure it reads somewhere along the lines of, “Kiss my ass”, and I, for one, applaud it.