Ok I'll bite.
Mark Saxon has an interesting piece over in the OCR today and while I understand that these pieces are fun to debate I'm not sure that they really prove anything.
10. Morrell Presley, TE. When this guy switched his commitment to UCLA and immediately enrolled in classes, USC fans went crazy on the message boards. He needs to add bulk, but the Bruins think they have a potential star tight end on their hands. They also love the fact he left the Trojans standing at the altar.
9. Akeem Ayers, LB. Granted, Ayers might not have started for the Bruins as a freshman, but he's USC's kind of guy. He's an excellent athlete whose understanding is improving rapidly. Before he left for New Mexico State, defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker gushed about his potential.
8. Christian Yount, SNP. Have you ever heard of this guy? OK, then he must be doing his job as the long snapper pretty well. According to UCLA's spring media guide, "He is a very accurate snapper with great velocity." Good enough for us. Besides, he's from Orange County (Tesoro High) and the Trojans always have local kids on their roster.
7. Logan Paulsen, TE. Would UCLA's season have been any different if the big tight end hadn't broken his foot in the opener against Tennessee? Um, probably not. But he is a good player with NFL potential. Coach Rick Neuheisel says Paulsen is in great shape, so he could be a big part of an offense that has to make a big leap to compete.
6. Reggie Carter, LB. He played middle linebacker at about 220 pounds, roughly the size of one of Rey Maualuga's meals, but he has tremendous tenacity. He had 20 tackles in a blowout loss to BYU. That shows plenty of heart.
5. Rahim Moore, S. This kid has talent and bravado, meaning that he would have been a perfect fit in USC's defensive secondary. Could he have beaten out Taylor Mays or Kevin Ellison as a freshman? No way. But he'd be in the mix for 2009.
4. Kai Forbath, K. If David Buehler still kicked for USC, this would have been an interesting debate. As it is, the Bruins are in way better shape when it comes to extra points and field goals. Forbath might be the best kicker in the nation coming off a third-team AP All-America junior year
3. Alterraun Verner, CB. UCLA's lock-down cornerback is good enough that he toyed with going pro after his junior year. With Cary Harris gone, the Trojans definitely could fit Verner into their defensive backfield. He's a playmaker who makes up for a lack of blinding speed with hard work, smarts and instincts.
2. Brian Price, DT. The big man in the middle of UCLA's defensive line spurned USC in the recruiting process and he probably is the Bruins' best player. As his strength and technique improve, he has a chance to be among the best defensive players in the nation. He'd be among USC's best returning players.
1. Norm Chow, offensive coordinator. How can an assistant coach be No. 1? Simple. When USC fans stop complaining about the play-calling, they finally will have gotten over the messy 2005 divorce with the respected offensive coordinator. He couldn't pull off a miracle with a woeful offense last year, proving that he's human.
Maybe, maybe not...
The problem here is who would they replace and when? Brian Price is a fine player but I would like to really see how he would stack up against some of SC's D-lineman if he had to compete for a starting job, some of SC's underclassmen are damn pretty good.
I got a kick out of how Saxon lists incoming freshman Morrell Presley, who has yet to take a snap, as a potential starter. Morrell Presley WOULD NOT start at USC this year. Like Saxon said he needs to bulk up.
I could go on and on...suffice it to say until any of these guys actually compete for and win a starting job at USC we will never know. The level of talent and competition is on a whole different level at USC. Some may step up but you know others won't.
As I saw written elsewhere...the bigger question is will Saxon write a follow-up piece...
"What back-ups on USC could start for ucla?"
Imagine the fun you could have with that!