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Insider

Life after Kalil muddled

12/15/2011

LOS ANGELES -- Heading into the 2011 season, there was no bigger question concerning the USC Trojans than what would happen with the offensive line. Trojans coach Lane Kiffin and offensive line coach James Cregg mixed and matched through spring and fall, eventually settling on a lineup that, despite three new starters and a position switch, became a formidable group as the season progressed.

But with the news that left tackle Matt Kalil will forgo his final season of eligibility and enter the NFL draft, the challenge to rebuild the offensive line begins anew for the USC coaches. And while they might not be forced to find working parts for four different positions, the crater-sized hole Kalil leaves at left tackle could prove even more difficult to fill.

When the season came to a close, Kalil's backup was redshirt freshman Nathan Guertler -- a walk-on who won't be confused with a top-five draft pick, which Kalil is projected to be.