Depth chart projections: Linebacker

2011 depth chart

WLB – Hayes Pullard, Shane Horton, Anthony Sarao

MLB – Chris Galippo, Lamar Dawson, Will Andrew, Dallas Kelley

SLB – Dion Bailey, Tre Madden, Marquis Simmons (out for season)

Projected depth chart for 2012

WLB – Pullard, Sarao, Jabari Ruffin

MLB – Dawson, Scott Starr, Andrew, Kelley

SLB – Bailey, Madden, Simmons, Ruffin

At weakside, Pullard is the solid starter heading into next season. Sarao has come on lately on the service team and is starting to make an impact. If Sarao continues to progress through the offseason, he would figure to have the edge over the true freshmen in the battle to back up Pullard.

In the middle, there's little doubt that Dawson is the man in the future. Even though Andrew was recently awarded a scholarship, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Starr move ahead of him sometime next fall as the primary reserve.

At strongside, this will be Bailey’s spot for a while. Madden offers a nice option too, but Bailey is playing at a very high level and should only improve. Simmons will provide a nice third option when healthy. This is a spot of very good depth for the Trojans.

The incoming freshmen, Starr and Ruffin, could get a look at multiple spots.