USC defense preseason poll

LOS ANGELES -- Pac-12 Media Day is Tuesday, and the reality of the 2012 season is almost officially underway. Well, almost. Before we get into that, let's conclude our mini-series on the USC Trojans' Top 10 offensive and defensive players based on ability, potential, and/or importance.

Having given our view on the Top 10 offensive players on Friday, it's time to wrap things up with Part 2 and the Top 10 defensive players.

1. S T.J. McDonald: While McDonald might not be to the defense what Matt Barkley is to the offense; nevertheless, he is the leader of a group that must come through if the Trojans are to reach their lofty goals. He provides everything from a playing and leadership standpoint and if he can limit the borderline hits that provided retribution from the Pac-12 Conference, he is the heartbeat of the defense.