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A recent Sports Illustrated article points out how the 2005 USC Trojans failed to live up to expectations in their NFL careers.
The 2005 USC Trojans are remembered as one of the greatest college offenses in the modern era, so it's especially interesting to explore why their NFL careers didn't turn out as expected.
An Austin Murphy column in Sports Illustrated states that NFL scouts, coaches and general managers have admittedly placed a higher value on players out of USC due to a certain brand awareness. The school's tendency to consistently produce NFL talent, combined with their pro-style offense, were cited as contributing factors to that phenomenon.
Some players from the 2005 team were exceptions -- Kenechi Udeze and Mike Patterson each showed promise, but had their careers derailed by medical conditions.
One assistant GM told SI, "You don't think you're doing it, but sometimes you subconsciously [escalate a guy's draft stock] based on the strength of the brand. [USC] won 34 straight games, they were very well coached and they ran a pro-style scheme similar to what you see at this level... What you had was a lot of guys that played even better than they were."
Players from the 2005 class had plenty of talent, but often struggled with character issues, discipline problems and conditioning upon entering the NFL after playing for Pete Carroll.