But not only do the Trojans field the best linebackers, as a group they're the best defensive unit in the Pac-12, according to ESPN's David Lombardi. Here's why he gave USC the nod.
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"Hayes Pullard and J.R. Tavai will certainly be missed, but the Trojans have an enviable combination of returning talent and recently recruited studs to make a deep, electric unit," writes Lombardi. "Su'a Cravens is one of college football's most versatile defenders — he moved down from safety last year and can still defend the pass-happy Pac-12 — while Anthony Sarao and Lamar Dawson (a former starter who's back from injury) both provide a veteran foundation. Scott Felix and Michael Hutchings also infuse experience, while a foursome of newcomers has the ability to turn this Trojan position group into a powerhouse."
For Steve Sarkisian, Lombardi says it's an embarrassment of riches.