Future’s so bright, I’ve gotta wear shades
January will come as a bearer of news, and it delivers both good and bad. The good is that USC will finally shed its postseason ban. The bad is the program also shedding scholarships, a total of thirty over the next three years, beginning with ten in 2012. But despite all it has endured and penalties remaining to digest, it is a youthful roster that allows an optimistic approach to the tumultuous days ahead.
CBSsports.com revealed its list of 2011 freshmen All-Americans, and to no surprise, USC boasts the most players among the group.
QB–Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
RB–Isaiah Crowell, Georgia
RB–Giovani Bernard, North Carolina
WR–Sammy Watkins, Clemson
WR–Marqise Lee, Southern California
TE –Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
OL –La’El Collins, LSU
OL –A.J. Cann, South Carolina
OL –Will Whitman, Harvard
OL –Marcus Martin, Southern California
C — Reese Dismukes, Auburn
DL–Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
DL–Scott Crichton, Oregon State
DL–Anthony Johnson, LSU
DL–Timmy Jernigan, Florida State
LB–Dion Bailey, Southern California
LB–Denzel Perryman, Miami
LB–Jeremy Grove, East Carolina
DB–Merrill Noel, Wake Forest
DB–Tevin McDonald, UCLA
DB–Quandre Diggs, Texas
DB–Blair Burns, Wyoming
K–Andre Heidari, Southern California
P–Brad Wing, LSU
All-Purpose–De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon
Returner–Tyler Lockett, Kansas State
The list honors four Trojans for field performance in 2011, but still falls short of recognizing others that had a direct impact in the team’s success or those poised to lift the program even higher.
Freshman linebacker Hayes Pullard tied Dion Bailey for the team-high in tackles (81). True freshman Lamar Dawson replaced senior Chris Galippo at middle linebacker at the tail end of the season. Tight ends Randall Telfer and Xavier Grimble proved they were ready for prime-time, by providing more options for their coach and quarterback.
George Farmer burned his redshirt in the sixth game, and can be very much the star that former Serra High School teammates Robert Woods and Marqise Lee have become. Kyle Prater and a slew of other freshmen wait in the wings, ready to make good on opportunities to prove their talents.
The reduction of scholarships is intended to decrease the number of stars the program can place on one roster, thereby crippling and punishing the Trojans for past deeds. But by stockpiling and storing for cold days ahead, Lane Kiffin and his staff is successfully defending against an imperialistic knockout blow.
USC has withstood darkened days, as it has several times in the past. And during those periods of what could have been, we often lose sight of what can be. Four freshmen All-Americans serve a reminder of what we are today, while also projecting what the future may be. It was the NCAA that banished a program to darkness, but disobediently, it is a roster forecasting brighter days ahead.
Quote of the Day: “To get to the rainbow, you have to get through the rain”
Song of the Day: Future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades–Timbuk3