USC’s Mark Carrier, Dennis Thurman make 2024 College FB Hall of Fame ballot

Two great #USC defensive stars, both in the secondary, made the latest College Football Hall of Fame ballot.

The new College Football Hall of Fame ballot, which will be used for the selection of members in the Class of 2024, has been released.

Two USC Trojans made the ballot, both from the secondary.

Mark Carrier and Dennis Thurman are two elite players from the Men of Troy’s glorious past. USC has had two Mark Carriers, so we remind you that this Mark Carrier (the one on the Hall of Fame ballot) is the safety, not the wide receiver.

The National Football Foundation offered notes on each player in conjunction with the ballot release.

On Carrier, the NFF gathered these details:

“Two-time First Team All-American (1988-89), earning unanimous honors in 1989…1989 Jim Thorpe Award winner as the nation’s top defensive back…Two-time First Team All-Conference selection…Led the Pac-10 in interceptions in 1989 with seven.”

This was the entry for Thurman:

“Two-time First Team All-American who led Trojans to four consecutive postseason wins, including the 1974 national championship at the Rose Bowl…Two-time all-conference selection who helped USC to two Pac-8 titles.”

We have written about Carrier and Thurman. Check our archives for more on these and other USC Trojans who made it big in the NFL.

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USC legend Anthony Munoz tells tons of great stories in one-hour conversation

Munoz talked about his #USC career, his NFL journey, his faith, and a lot more with @TrojanConquests and @LBCTrojan.

We had been promoting the Anthony Munoz episode of Trojan Conquest Live throughout the past week. We had told you that Munoz would appear on the YouTube broadcast at The Voice of College Football with co-hosts Tim Prangley and Rick Anaya.

That broadcast took place on Sunday, June 4. It was as good as advertised, if not better. If you watched it, you’ll definitely want to share the link with others. If you missed the show, you can sit down and watch it when you have time.

Tim and Rick didn’t need to ask Anthony Munoz extremely complicated questions, because they didn’t have to. Munoz has a powerful life story to share, with so many great memories from USC and the Cincinnati Bengals, but also a powerful story of faith and perseverance.

Everyone who knows anything about Anthony Munoz is aware of his injuries at USC, the fortitude he needed to display in order to become an elite pro, and his success with the Bengals. The power of this interview lies in the determination Munoz displayed to overcome so many different obstacles in his life. It’s the details which make Munoz’s story come alive.

No spoilers. You’ll see in the interview how inspiring Anthony Munoz really is. It’s a treat for USC fans and football fans everywhere. Congratulations to Tim and Rick on landing Anthony for their show and doing such a great job!

Please consider subscribing to the USC channel at The Voice of College Football, for more great interviews such as this one. Also consider joining the USC channel as a member and getting exclusive bonus content.

Here’s the full one-hour show with Anthony Munoz:

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Nelson Agholor and Tee Martin reconnect in the AFC North with Ravens

Tee Martin was Agholor’s WR coach at #USC. The band is back together in Baltimore, and Andrew Vorhees is along for the ride.

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Nelson Agholor and wide receiver coach Tee Martin are reunited this season. The former Trojans will try to bring a Super Bowl to their new city.

Joining the Ravens allows Agholor to reconnect with Ravens quarterback coach Tee Martin, who was Agholor’s wide receiver coach at USC.

Agholor was primarily a running back in high school at Berkeley Prep HS in Tampa (FL) rushing for 1,983 yards and 28 touchdowns as a senior while averaging 9.5 yards per carry.

Tee Martin helped Agholor make a smooth transition from running back to wide receiver with the Trojans and he won a starting job as a freshman at USC.

Baltimore agreed to a one year deal with the former Trojan in March paying him a base of $3.25 million with incentives that make it worth up to $6.25 million.

The eight-year veteran has compiled 4,246 yards on 340 catches with 31 touchdowns throughout five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, one with the Las Vegas Raiders and two with the New England Patriots.

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Anthony Munoz owns a unique claim to NFL greatness

A very small subset of NFL players owns the level of stature Anthony Munoz possesses. Munoz joins @TrojanConquests and @LBCTrojan on June 4 at 8 ET, 5 PT.

There are only 32 NFL players who can make a very specific claim, more if you count defunct NFL franchises. (The Houston Oilers are not a defunct franchise; they are merely the previous iteration of what is now the Tennessee Titans. The most recent defunct NFL franchise is the New York Bulldogs/Yanks, who folded in 1951.)

That claim is simple but weighty and powerful: a claim as the most important player in their history of an NFL franchise.

There is a most important New England Patriot. There is a most important Jacksonville Jaguar. There is a most important Detroit Lion. There is a most important player on all 32 NFL teams (plus the defunct franchises). That’s a very small number, a very small percentage of all the NFL players who have ever stepped onto a Sunday gridiron.

When discussing the most important Cincinnati Bengal of all time, it has to be Anthony Munoz, at least today. Maybe in a few years, Joe Burrow will win a Super Bowl, which might change the conversation. Today — May 31, 2023 — Munoz has to be No. 1 in Bengal history.

One year after Munoz was drafted by Cincinnati in 1980, the Bengals made their first Super Bowl. Munoz was the anchor of the team’s offensive line in two different Super Bowls. Burrow did make Super Bowl LVI in the 2021 season, but Munoz led the Bengals through a multi-Super Bowl era. He also brought to an end the Pittsburgh Steelers’ rule of what was then known as the AFC Central Division.

Crucially, Munoz made Super Bowls with two different Bengal quarterbacks: Ken Anderson (XVI, 1981 season) and Boomer Esiason (XXIII, 1988 season). Munoz being the common thread on two different Super Bowl teams with two different quarterbacks puts him ahead of Burrow. The equation changes only when Burrow wins a Super Bowl or makes three Super Bowls. Right now, it’s still Munoz at No. 1, Burrow at No. 2.

Watch Anthony Munoz talk to co-hosts Tim Prangley and Rick Anaya on Trojan Conquest Live this Sunday, June 4. The live broadcast begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time, 5 p.m. Pacific (maybe one or two minutes after).

It’s the USC YouTube show you won’t want to miss. The episode will be labeled Trojan Conquest Live 14. Follow co-host Tim Prangley on Twitter for updates and more information.

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Why Falcons receiver Drake London is due for a breakout season in 2023

How Drake London works with Desmond Ridder will be a central determinant of how well his career develops with the Falcons.

The Atlanta Falcons selected wide receiver Drake London with the eighth pick in the 2022 NFL draft.

Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot and head coach Arthur Smith took London as the first wide receiver off the board, even though Garrett Wilson — who won the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award — Chris Olave, and Jameson Willams were all available.

London finished the season with 72 receptions, 866 yards, and four touchdowns. He finished tied for 25th in the NFL with 117 targets.

I would expect Drake London to pick up right where he left off in the last several weeks of the 2022 NFL season. In Weeks 13–18, he finished as a top-20 receiver, generating 428 receiving yards.

Despite the mediocrity of the Falcons’ run-first offense, Drake London is poised for a massive second-year NFL campaign, with Desmond Ridder slated as the full-time starting quarterback in 2023.

London is projected to record 78 catches, 1,006 yards and 6 touchdowns this season per DraftSharks. Cracking the 1,000-yard mark while being a little more reliable in catching passes and making game-defining plays would give the Falcons renewed belief that they picked the right man one year ago.

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Anthony Munoz will share stories and insights with Trojan fans on June 4

Sunday, June 4, at 8 Eastern and 5 Pacific, #USC legend Anthony Munoz joins @TrojanConquests and @LBCTrojan at the @VoiceOfCFB.

You probably know by now that Trojans Wire appears on two YouTube shows each week. One is our Monday night show with Mark Rogers at The Voice of College Football. The other is the new USC Sunday show at the Voice of CFB. Trojan Conquest Live airs Sundays at 8 p.m. Eastern and 5 p.m. Pacific. We hope you can regularly join the show on Sundays. If not, you can always watch the recorded broadcast on YouTube whenever you have a chance. Next Sunday, however, is a really big deal. This is the show you really want to see live at 5 p.m. in Los Angeles.

Anthony Munoz, a national champion with USC and a Pro Football Hall of Famer with the Cincinnati Bengals, is one of the greatest offensive linemen to have ever played the game of football. He is a legend of the game and a USC icon. He will join co-hosts Tim Prangley and Rick Anaya next Sunday, June 4, on a special edition of Trojan Conquest Live. Tim and Rick will ask some questions. Anthony Munoz will share plenty of stories and insights. You won’t want to miss this.

Trojan Conquest Live gives you the USC YouTube content you crave. Subscribe to, like and share the USC YouTube channel at The Voice of College Football. Join as a member for exclusive bonus content at the middle or top membership tiers. This is part of how you can support Trojans Wire and its partnership with The Voice of College Football.

Stay tuned on Sunday, June 4, at 8 Eastern and 5 Pacific, for an hour with Anthony Munoz on Trojan Conquest Live.

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Caleb Williams isn’t a perfect prospect, but he is still the best in the nation

There is always something for Caleb Williams (and every other player) to improve on. @TheDraftWire has more details..

Caleb Williams is currently the best player in college football He has an incredible combination of athletic skills, arm talent, and intangibles. He’s also a player who consistently has produced at an elite level at both Oklahoma and USC. He has shown the ability to handle stardom despite being just two years removed from high school.

Caleb Williams is the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner, a record-setting unanimous First Team All-America quarterback

In his 2022 season, Caleb established the USC single-season record for total offense (4,919 yards), most combined touchdowns rushing and passing (52), completions (333), pass attempts (500), passing yards (4,537), and touchdown passes (42)

Caleb also took home the 2022 Maxwell Award and the Walter Camp Award. He cleaned up on the awards circuit.

Williams is a near perfect candidate to go No. 1 in next year’s NFL draft, but even when one accounts for all of his successes at USC, he still has some aspects of his game he could stand to develop.

Williams could improve, for instance, his lower-body mechanics. His footwork struggled at times, and his passes were thrown slightly off-target. It’s not a pressing issue, but it can be cleaned up with more experience. It is something to keep an eye on this coming season.

Williams, who turns 22 in November, will quite possibly be joined in the 2024 NFL draft class by North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye. Both players are projected top-two picks in the 2024 NFL draft. They might receive higher draft grades than Bryce Young, Anthony Richardson or C.J. Stroud.

This article by our friends at DraftWire shows there are a few areas where Williams can become an even better prospect.

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Jordan Addison, Mekhi Blackmon will play first NFL game vs Pete Carroll

The Seahawks will be the first live-game NFL opponent for the “Minnesota Trojans,” Jordan Addison and Mekhi Blackmon.

The Seattle Seahawks’ official 2023 preseason schedule was finalized and announced late Tuesday morning. Their opening game is against two former USC Trojan starters. Mehki Blackmon and Jordan Addison of the Minnesota Vikings will face Pete Carroll and the Seahawks on Thursday, August 10 in Seattle. The so-called “Minnesota Trojans” will get their NFL baptism against the architect of a USC football dynasty in the early 2000s.

Expect big playing time for Addison in Game 1 of the preseason. Kirk Cousins and the rest of the Vikings’ offensive unit will try to become more familar with their first-round pick.

Expect Blackmon to get plenty of snaps as well. He will be playing against Seattle quarterbacks Drew Lock and Holton Ahlers with Seattle’s second and third units. One potentially exciting matchup could be Blackmon against new Seahawk receiver and NFL draft pick Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

Pete Carroll was a great teacher at USC. This time, he might teach two USC stars in a different sort of way: from the opposite sideline, as a coach trying to expose their weaknesses and limitations.

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Jordan Addison’s situation with Vikings might be better than first thought

The key point to make here: Analysts already felt Addison was in a good place. It might be even better than the initial reaction.

Sometimes, when a newly-drafted pro athlete is evaluated within the context of his new situation, the passage of time and the accumulation of details make analysts less bullish on that athlete. That’s not the case with Jordan Addison of the Minnesota Vikings. The more analysts look at his setup in Minnesota, the more they are convinced he will thrive.

(h/t Gordon McGuinness of Pro Football Focus)

“Addison should start immediately in Minnesota, and he has a strong shot at leading the rookie receiver class in snaps played in 2023 for that reason. Of all the rookies, he has the clearest path to an immediate role. He will benefit from defenses having to focus on Justin Jefferson, who tied for third last season among wide receivers with a 90.5 PFF receiving grade and led the league in receiving yards.

“Addison is coming off a season at USC where he dropped just 3.3% of the catchable passes thrown his way, and he was one of the most productive receivers in college football the year before at Pittsburgh, notching 2.94 yards per route run to rank 22nd in the nation.”

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USC fans can prepare for Midwest road trips on 2023 Notre Dame-NFL weekend

Want to get into the #B1G lifestyle, #USC fans? Consider a road trip @IrishWireND and @TheVikingsWire will be interested in.

USC football fans with some disposable income will want to travel to the Midwest to support their Trojans in the Big Ten. Going to Midwestern football stadiums will become a more regular thing for the fans who can afford to make one road trip per year and save up for the occasion. In order to get into the Big Ten mood, though, the road trip to South Bend, Indiana, to play the Notre Dame Fighting Irish has been a special pilgrimage for USC fans every other year.

This year, however, it will be extra special — and not just because this will be Lincoln Riley’s first visit to South Bend as USC head coach.

There’s another reason this year’s USC-Notre Dame game could be worth attending for Trojan fans who want to enjoy a football weekend on the road: They could turn this Trojan-Irish game into a weekend doubleheader in the Midwest. We’ll explain below: