Back when former USC center Ryan Kalil was dominating the line of scrimmage from 2003-2006, Trojan fans knew that the Servite High School product was going to be something special one day in the National Football League.
Fast forward seven years later, and while much has changed for USC, the dominant nature of the Rimington Award Finalist and 2006 Pac-10 Morris Trophy winner continues to rise up the ranking as one of the top centers in the league.
Just announced by NFL Network over the weekend, while most-recent USC center Marcus Martin was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, superstar center Ryan Kalil was named the 93rd Best Player in the NFL as voted the players' themselves.
Inside this highlight video from Kalil's contributions last season, the No. 93 ranked player returns to the NFL Top 100 for the second time in his career, rising above his previous spot as the 99th-best player in the league back in 2012.
Much known for his engaging personality both on and off the field (I mean seriously, look at THIS OUTFIT) Kalil continues to embrace the star-studded attention he continues to gain as the 4-time Pro Bowl selection in just seven seasons with the Carolina Panthers.
"I just want to be taken seriously in this league, and I'm not," Kalil jokes with the NFL Network on the Top 100, along with some other great nuggets in his outfitted interview. "Maybe in like 15 years I can be No. 1 on this list."
His father, Frank, was a center at Arkansas (1978) and Arizona (1980-81-82), then was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 1982 before playing for the USFL's Arizona Wranglers in 1983 and Houston Gamblers in 1984. His brother, Matt Kalil, was drafted No. 4 overall in the 2012 and remains the most recent Trojan prospect selected in the first round.
The return to the Top 100 makes him the first offensive lineman to be named twice in non-consecutive years and Kalil remains just the sixth center ever to be named on the list. It may be hard to quantify the value of 300-pound men squarely blocking other 300-pound men, but the league seems to have found a nice financial value for his services.
And according to Forbes, Ryan Kalil was the World's 71st Highest-Paid Athlete in 2012 collecting over $19.4 million dollars after being named starting Pro Bowl center. Now in the midst of a six-year, $49 million contract that will expire following the 2016 season, Kalil, 29, could be in for even more financial security in the not-too-distant future.
Just looking back to the turn of the century with guys like Norm Katnik to Ryan Kalil, Jeff Byers, Kristofer O'Dowd, Khaled Holmes, Marcus Martin and even Max Tuerk and Toa Lobendahn somewhere down the road, the Trojan lineage at the center position lives on for the most-drafted university in all of college football.