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When Will USC Shake its Booty?
While most of Trojan LA was rejoicing over Matt Leinart's announcement that he will return, Eric Sondeimer, the great high school sports wirter for the LA Times, saw the full picture and considered the Trojans' other great quarterbacks. USC has stockpiled a ridiculous amount of talent at every position, and quarterback is no exception.But while USC can always switch off between a LenDale White and a Reggie Bush, or rotate linemen in and out, quarterback is not a position so easily split up. As Leinart shines in the spotlight, John David Booty, Rocky Hinds, and Mark Sanchez wait eager and ready.
Booty is perhaps the most interesting case. He may very well have been the best high school QB recruit in USC history, and he's certainly more physically gifted than Leinart. Booty made the unusual decision to forgo his senior year of high school to get an early start at USC, in part because his Louisiana high school fired his father as an assistant coach. But he also proved ready, jumping to No. 2 on the depth chart as a freshman who was effectively a high school senior. Had Booty had an opportunity in spring practice of that year, he might have started over Leinart, and John David could have been tossing oranges two weeks ago.
So now, Booty sits and waits. Redshirted this past year, he will still have two full years to presumably quarterback the Trojans. Pete Carroll says he will try and work in some playing time for Booty, who could probably start at 98% of the schools in the country. But his story is a perfect example of just how small the margin is in college football from being a three-year backup to being a superstar.