The USC Trojan football team will take the field on Tuesday for a series of fifteen spring football practices.
With all of the seniors gone, the coaches get a chance to evaluate the entire roster as players begin competing for spots on the two-deep depth chart. First up, we take a look at the quarterback position.
Last season John David Booty took his first snap as the starting USC quarterback down in Arkansas. The Trojans went on to score 50 points and whitewash the Razorbacks, but even then there was some questions surrounding who the starting quarterback should be.
Booty certainly played well, especially for his first career start with an entirely inexperienced corps of running backs behind him.
But with two Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks preceding him, expectations were not simply high, they were way up in the stratosphere.
As the year rolled on Booty put up some impressive numbers, but had two high-profile passed batted down in the losses to Oregon State and UCLA.
Apparently those two passes are all that some fans can remember from the 11-2 season that culminated with a blowout of Michigan in the Rose Bowl.
The numbers of people coming up to me on the street asking who the starting quarterback will be has been baffling.
Booty completed nearly 62% of his passes for 3,347 yards, 29 touchdowns to just 9 interceptions. He was All-Pac-10 first team and was a Manning Award finalist. He was easily the best quarterback in the conference and will be on all of the Heisman watch lists going into 2007.
There is absolutely no quarterback controversy for the Trojans this year. Booty will be the man taking the snaps barring any unfortunate injuries to the Louisiana senior.
Backing him up will be sophomore Mark Sanchez. Mark is a talented kid with a big arm and great leadership skills, but his time as a starter most likely will not begin until 2008.
Sanchez has suffered from an ailing back, but he should be fine for spring football. He will certainly compete for Booty's spot and Pete Carroll's philosophy has always been that each and every position is up for grabs. But at this point Sanchez overtaking Booty on the depth chart is highly unlikely.
Also getting reps will be senior Michael McDonald and redshirt freshmen walk-ons Tyler Davis and Duron Sylvester.
Safety Garrett Green has bounced back and forth between the defensive backfield and quarterback. As the team practiced this winter Green was getting a lot of snaps, so look for Green to spend at least part of his time at quarterback during spring football.
Trojan fans will have to wait until the fall to see the highly touted incoming freshman QB Aaron Corp.
For the inside scoop on what is going on during spring football including live practice report postings, make sure you read The Peristyle!