The dawn of the 2015 college football season is fast approaching. And with it, multitudes of media outlets have begun to release various polls predicting different outcomes for the season. But despite the variety, USC seems to be a trending pick this preseason. ESPN’s preseason All-American team selections were recently released, and the Trojans are well-represented.Senior center Max Tuerk seems to be the most undisputed choice for best center in the nation. He is a captain this season and one of the most versatile offensive linemen in college football, able to play both tackle and guard. This year, he’ll lead an experienced offense alongside fellow senior and veteran quarterback Cody Kessler.Junior linebacker Su’a Cravens also represents USC on the preseason team. Cravens is easily one of the most dynamic and versatile players on the field. As a sophomore, Cravens had a team-high 17 tackles for losses — the most of any defensive back in the nation — with five recorded as sacks. Cravens also had a team-high of three picks in 2014. His speed also allows him to return those interceptions for touchdowns.Adoree’ Jackson represents the Trojans as ESPN’s choice on special teams. USC lists him as a cornerback, wide receiver and kick returner because it appears there isn’t anything he can’t do. Jackson punctuated his remarkable 2014 season with a front flip into the end zone for a touchdown in the Holiday Bowl. He is not only an All-American contender but has a legitimate chance at being the first defensive back to win the Heisman in years.Tuerk, Cravens and Jackson were also named to ESPN’s preseason All-Pac-12 team, as was Kessler.Kessler opted to return for his senior season at USC and finds himself in a conference that seems to be wide open. His biggest Pac-12 threats in 2014 were Oregon and UCLA, both of which lost their quarterbacks to the NFL. Possibly Kessler’s biggest competition at quarterback is Cal’s Jared Goff. But, Kessler’s experience as a redshirt senior gives him an edge over Goff, who is just a junior.Missing from both lists is sophomore wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. He managed to have a breakout freshman campaign while still being only the No. 2 receiver behind Nelson Agholor. Smith-Schuster still has a long way to go to make the All-American team, but I think he at least deserves honorable mention on the All-Pac-12 team.As Matt Barkley and the Trojans learned in 2012, preseason hype means nothing if you can’t come through during the season. Though it is nice to see USC garnering recognition as a top competitor this year, the Trojans still have a lot to prove on the field.Unfortunately, the Trojans are beginning the season in the wake of scandal yet again as tight end Bryce Dixon was dismissed from the team last week, and more recently, Coach Sarkisian’s “inappropriate behavior” at Salute to Troy landed him in hot water. It is important that neither the hype nor the controversy have any place in the locker room.Under the arm and wing of a veteran quarterback, the Trojans have all the necessary talent and skill to compete for a national title. The only thing left to do is put the pieces together.Regan Estes is a junior majoring in public relations and Spanish. She is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. Her column “Wild Wild Westes,” runs Tuesdays.
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