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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Presenting L.A.'s NFL team

There are 53 players from USC and UCLA (38 Trojans, 15 Bruins) on NFL rosters. NFL reporter Sam Farmer selects the best at each position and comes up with a pretty solid pro lineup.

November 23, 2009|By Sam Farmer
  • Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew was a star at UCLA while Steelers safety Troy Polamalu was an All-American at USC.
Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew was a star at UCLA while Steelers… (Photos by Phil Coale / Associated…)

Offense

Backfield: There are four USC quarterbacks in the NFL, and Cincinnati's Carson Palmer (first in 2003), Arizona's Matt Leinart (10th in 2006) and the New York Jets' Mark Sanchez (fifth in 2009) were top-10 draft picks. UCLA's Maurice Jones-Drew was overshadowed by USC's Reggie Bush in college, but he now leads the league with 13 rushing touchdowns.

Line: There are two tackles, two guards and a center in the league -- all Trojans.

Receivers: The tight ends include something old (USC's Billy Miller of Houston, a 10-year veteran), something new (USC's Fred Davis, in his second year with Washington), something borrowed (UCLA's Spencer Havner of Green Bay, a converted linebacker) and something blue (Bruins blue -- Marcedes Lewis of Jacksonville). Out wide the choices are fewer. USC's Steve Smith is Eli Manning's favorite target, with 65 catches and five touchdowns for the New York Giants. USC's Dwayne Jarrett (Carolina) is in his third pro season and hasn't scored a touchdown.

Kicker: Last season, Dallas didn't have a touchback. With USC's David Buehler handling kickoffs, it has 17.

Defense

Line: Four USC products anchor the interior of NFL defenses as starters -- Sedrick Ellis (New Orleans), Mike Patterson (Philadelphia), LaJuan Ramsey (St. Louis) and Shaun Cody (Houston). UCLA's Kenyon Coleman (Cleveland) gets the nod at end, opposite USC's Lawrence Jackson, who has four sacks for Seattle.

Linebacker: Brian Cushing (Houston), Rey Maualuga (Cincinnati) and Clay Matthews (Green Bay) were starters at USC a year ago, as was Kaluka Maiava, who is playing a major role in Cleveland. USC's Lofa Tatupu is Seattle's best defensive player, but he is injured. Former Trojans star Junior Seau is back with New England.

Secondary: USC's Troy Polamalu is having an injury-plagued season, but he will wind up in Canton. Terrell Thomas, another former Trojan, has three interceptions for the Giants. UCLA's Chris Horton has 37 tackles and a forced fumble for the Redskins, and former Bruin Matt Ware has an interception and a forced fumble for Arizona.

Punter: UCLA's Chris Kluwe (Minnesota) has punted for a net average of 38.4 yards.

sam.farmer@latimes.com

twitter.com/LATimesfarmer

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