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Monday News and Notes

Is RoJo better than Steve Smith?

SportingNews' Mike Farrell seems to think so.

Ronald Johnson, USC. Stunning how another USC guy makes this list (they had two in the running back category I did in late March). Johnson, in this scenario, is replacing the departed Steve Smith -- not Dwayne Jarrett. Smith was a superior talent for Southern Cal and will be a very good NFL player. However, Johnson is already the same size as Smith. Johnson will get bigger and faster, and is a pure game-breaker. The only way Johnson doesn't surpass Smith's tremendous production at USC is if he moves to cornerback, where he would also be an upgrade. Verdict: Better.

I don't know, Smith showed more than his fair share of greatness at SC, I'd like to see Johnson play a down first before making that statement. I mean, I know the kid is good and all but he hasn't played at this level yet so he has a lot to prove.

HT TrojanNYC

Carroll Downplays #1

Last week Pete Carroll attended a fundraiser out at Indian Wells Country Club where the local paper asked him a few questions.

Question: USC is the consensus pre-season No. 1 team in America. What do you think your chances are of going wire-to-wire as No. 1?

Answer: Oh, I don't have any idea about that, you know. We're just ... it's nice to have that kind of recognition and that really doesn't mean a whole lot right now. You know, we haven't played a game yet.

How do you think former Rajah linebacker Oscar Lua is going to do in the pros, now that he has been drafted by the Patriots?

Hopefully he'll do really well. They've looked really long and hard at him, they knew what they were getting, and I would think that he would fit into their plans. He's gotta have a tough camp and make the team. He's probably going to make it on special teams and fight for a backup spot. He's a good kid, he's going to work real hard, he's really smart and he's going to have to work toward this challenge.

Defensive end Lawrence Miles (La Quinta High School, 2003) is the only player currently on your team from the Coachella Valley, and last year he sat out with an injury. What do you expect from him this year?

He hasn't had a chance to play football in a long time and he was very, very rusty in spring football, and he's still hampered a little bit by his shoulder, so I think it's a long way back for him. So we'll have to see how he does in camp. It's been really really hard for him because he's missed two years.

That's not surprising as Pete Carroll does whatever he can to keep the players on an even keel and not let the hype get in the way of staying on the task at hand. And that's what makes him great!

Speaking of Pre-Season #1

Both Athlon and Phil Steele have USC ranked pre-season #1. Steele's  2007 Issue isn't due out until tomorrow but TrojanWire via Tomahawk Nation has the early info.

He also has a number of Trojans listed as All-Americans:

1st team:
OT Sam Baker, DE Lawrence Jackson, OLB Keith Rivers, and OLB Brian Cushing

2nd team:
QB John David Booty, DT Sedrick Ellis, ILB Rey Maualuga, and FS Taylor Mays

3rd team:
CB Terrell Thomas

4th team:
OG Chilo Rachal and DT Fili Moala

 Should be fun to watch.