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Thursday, January 24, 2013
USC Class of 2009 review

By Johnny Curren

With signing day fast approaching, it’s worth taking a glance back at the Trojans’ recruiting class of 2009 -- a group of players now almost four years removed from high school. The No. 4 ranked class that year, it’s a collection that was ultimately filled with a number of hits, as well as misses.

Key hits

QB Matt Barkley (Santa Ana, Calif. Mater Dei)
A four-year starter, Barkley leaves USC owning 20 school records, not to mention conference marks for career total offense (12,214), passing yards (12,327), completions (1,001) and touchdown passes (116). And while he didn’t have the senior campaign everyone had hoped for, he’ll still go down as one of the top quarterbacks in Trojans history and is a likely first-round pick in April’s NFL draft.

Matt Barkley
Matt Barkley left an indelible mark on the USC record book.
S T.J. McDonald (Fresno, Calif./Edison)
A mainstay in the Trojans’ secondary since stepping into the starting lineup at free safety as a sophomore, the hard-hitting McDonald was a 2011 All-American and an All-Pac-12 second-team selection in 2012. A team leader, he paced the Trojans with 112 stops this season.

S Jawanza Starling (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln)
Another three-year starter, Starling was a steady contributor at strong safety, amassing 128 tackles in his career. He was especially valuable in the clutch, coming up with a key fumble return for a touchdown against Notre Dame as a junior, and then a crucial strip and recovery versus Washington as a senior.

OL Kevin Graf (Agoura Hills, Calif./Agoura)
Graf has started for the past two seasons at right tackle, and while there have been minor dips in production at times, he has been solid for the most part and should provide the Trojans with a sturdy presence at the position in 2013.

OL John Martinez (Salt Lake City/Cottonwood)
Starting alongside Graf at right guard in 2011 and 2012, Martinez had a strong redshirt junior campaign, earning All-Pac-12 honorable mention honors.

Key misses

LB Jarvis Jones (Columbus, Ga./Carver)
After he suffered a career-threatening neck injury midway through his freshman campaign, USC doctors never cleared him to return. Ultimately he transferred to Georgia, where he was cleared, and developed into one of the nation’s top linebackers. He figures to be a top-10 pick in the upcoming draft.

LB Frankie Telfort (Miami/Gulliver Prep)
Another skilled linebacker whom the Trojans would have loved to have had, Telfort was diagnosed with a genetic heart condition and never played a down for USC. He is still on scholarship at the school, however, contributing to the team as a student coach.

S Patrick Hall (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure)
A phenomenal two-way star in high school, Hall’s career at USC never took off. Suffering two separate serious knee injuries in his time on campus, he is no longer with the program.

S Byron Moore Jr. (Harbor City, Calif./Narbonne)
Leaving USC before the 2010 season, Moore wound up at Tennessee, where he started this past season at safety, racking up 86 tackles.

Still waiting

DE Devon Kennard (Phoenix/Desert Vista)
Arriving at USC as the No. 1 defensive end in the nation, Kennard has had his moments, but he also has battled injuries and had his share of ups and downs. Raring to go after missing the 2012 campaign with a torn chest muscle, he figures to play a prominent role next season.

The other members of the 2009 signing class:

WR De’Von Flournoy (Van Nuys, Calif./Birmingham)
DE James Boyd (Los Angeles/Jordan)
LB Marquis Simmons (Compton, Calif.Dominguez)
CB Torin Harris (Las Vegas/Palo Verde)
LB Simione Vehikite (Kapolei, Hawaii/Kapolei)
DE Kevin Greene (Oakland, Calif./Sacred Heart Cathedral)