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Anchoring the Line

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While we have discussed the incredible amount of talent that Pete Carroll and his staff have brought to SC in the past it sometimes gets overlooked how much the individual coaches impact the talent that is collected.

One such coach is is offensive line coach Pat Ruel.His consistent work with the talent brought in has produced some great players at USC. (I got a kick out of how others had fun with one of the quotes in this piece, funny stuff!)

In his first year at USC (2005) all five USC offensive linemen got at least an honorable mention on the all-conference teams. Actually, they achieved quite a bit more. Center Ryan Kalil was All-Pac-10. Left guard Deuce Lutui and left tackle Sam Baker were All-Americans. Right guard Fred Matua was drafted by Detroit in 2006. Lutui and right tackle Winston Justice eventually become second-round choices in 2006.

Baker went on to become the third Trojan to become a three-time, first-team All-American in consecutive years. Kalil was an All-American in 2007 and became a Rimington Trophy finalist.

Recently, rivals.com named Ruel one of the best 25 recruiters in the country

I have been tough on Ruel in the past, especially after the Stanford game but regardless he has been consitent in getting he guys to step up. Guys like Ruel don't get a lot of credit when they're down in the trenches and Ruel is not the type to toot his own horn. He simply goes about his business and his dedication has provided a lot of protection and running lanes for a very explosive USC offense.

There is no question that Ruel will go down as one of the great SC coaches of the Pete Carroll era an we are lucky to have hime.

Definitely the quiet man...