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Insider

In search of impact players

LOS ANGELES -- Thank you, T.J. McDonald. Without the two interceptions, USC probably doesn't sit at 4-1 right now. And thank you, Robert Woods. Without you, I am quite sure USC wouldn't have that 4-1 record.

How many other Trojans could I say that about, though? Matt Barkley? Yes. Matt Kalil? Sure. Nick Perry? Probably. But when you think of great teams, teams that compete for conference championships, you always think of impact players across the board in every position grouping. So far this season, much like the last one, the Trojans are still waiting to see some additional names added to the list above.

The die-hards know the depth chart by name. They've seen a couple of great recruiting classes signed. They understand that there is youth and inexperience, but expectations rise based on the promise of what these players could become. Well, it's five games into 2011 and the team needs players to rise up immediately. Sure, it's more realistic (and even fair to expect) that some of these younger players won't truly come into their own until next season, or the season after. But make no mistake, this Trojans team needs them now.