The USC Trojans open their 2016 season in Dallas where they will take on the Alabama Crimson Tide at AT&T Stadium.
Let’s take a look at the players most likely to have a vital role on the 2016 Trojans team.
-Max Browne, QB
While the battle for the starting quarterback position is certainly not settled yet, Max Browne has to have an edge over redshirt freshman Sam Darnold. With a loaded receiving core and a deep offensive line, both QB’s should be able to lead the Trojans offense, but Browne comes into the season as the early favorite to be the starter.
-JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR
The Trojans number one deep threat last season collected an impressive 89 receptions while also going for 1454 receiving yards and 10 TD during the 2015 campaign. Except Smith-Schuster to be a top wideout in the nation. He is a serious threat to take home the Biletnikoff award in 2016.
-Adoree Jackson, DB/WR
There isn’t another player like Adoree Jackson in the entire country. This man is special. Not only does he play both sides of the ball (WR and CB), he is also hoping to make the 2016 Olympic team as a long jumper. Whenever this dude has the ball, special things happen. With Darreus Rodgers and Steven Mitchell excepted to play a bigger role on the offensive side, Jackson will have time to focus on his defense this season (While also returning kicks/punts). Talk about a triple-threat…
-Ronald Jones II, RB
Jones led the team in rushing last year despite splitting carries with Tre Madden and Justin Davis. Jones tallied 987 yards and 8 TD on just 153 carries. Tre Madden (85 carries, 452 yds, 5 TD) has left the program and you should expect Jones to reap the benefits. With the team’s deep offensive line, both Jones and Justin Davis could possibly run for over 1,000 yards and each score around 10 TDs. The USC offense is going to be extremely potent, no matter which QB or RB is at the helm.
-Iman Marshall, DB
Marshall was a top recruit from last season and was inserted into the defense almost immediatly. The man has serious ball skills and his 3 interceptions from last season should almost certainly double in 2016. He has a nose for the ball and always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Defintely keep an eye on the man they call “Biggie”.
-Noah Jefferson, DL
The Trojans lost three starters from their 2015 defensive line (not to mention losing Kenny Bigelow to a torn ACL in the spring) and will need someone to step up in their absence.
Jefferson, a freshman last season, is 6-foot-6 and weighs over 330 pounds. The Las Vegas native is primed for a breakout season, and could thrive under new D-line coach and former USC player Kenechi Udeze.
Keep an eye out for Jefferson wreaking havoc for Pac-12 quarterbacks this season. He has the hand skills and footwork to become a star.