New defense suits Pullard

Hayes Pullard figures to benefit greatly by the switch to Clancy Pendergast's 5-2 defense. Ric Tapia/Icon SMI

LOS ANGELES -- If it seems like the Trojans are going old-school defense in their new 5-2 alignment, it might not be too far from the truth. New defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast began the first week of spring practice with the implementation of a defense that is radically different than the one used by departed defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.

In Pendergast's "new age" 5-2, alignment, one of the key elements is the play of the two inside linebackers. Those well-schooled in USC Trojans football history know that the Men of Troy once ruled defensively during the legendary John McKay era by employing the 5-2 defense.

One of those returning inside linebackers in Pendergast's new defensive system will be second-year starter Hayes Pullard, a junior-to-be who figures to thrive in the new aggressive style of play.