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Three former Trojans named starting NFL tackles

Three former Trojans were named starting NFL offensive tackles in the recently released depth charts ahead of the 2020 NFL season. That ties USC for the most at the position, with three other college programs.

Tyron Smith has been a mainstay at tackle for the Dallas Cowboys since the 2012 season, but the Trojans tallied two new offensive tackle starters heading into 2020.

After bouncing around to three different teams–drafted by the Colts, signed by the Browns and Panthers–Zach Banner has seemingly found a home in Pittsburgh.

The massive lineman worked extensively as an extra lineman/tight end last season and re-signed with the Steelers on a one-year deal this past March. Banner was named the Steelers’ starting right tackle heading into this season.

And now USC can add rookie offensive tackle Austin Jackson to its long list of early impact NFL players. Jackson was one of Miami’s first-round picks in this past draft and he’s wasted no time grabbing the starting left tackle spot–a position he held the past two seasons at USC.

USC hasn’t been going toe-to-toe with the elite recruiting programs when it comes to collecting offensive line talent over the past handful of seasons, but finding success with these numbers should have some kind of impact on prospects in the 2021 and 2022 classes.

USC is tied with Alabama, Florida, Iowa and Oklahoma at the top of the list–each with three starting NFL offensive tackles. The Trojans also have a backup tackle in Chuma Edoga–listed behind the starters at both left and right tackle–and a backup offensive guard in Seattle’s Jordan Simmons (with Chad Wheeler on the Seahawks’ practice squad).

The Pac-12 has 10 total offensive tackles among the listed starters, with two from Utah and one each from Cal, Colorado, Stanford, UCLA and Washington.

Erik McKinney

Erik McKinney began writing for WeAreSC in 2004, during his junior year at USC, covering the Trojans football team and recruiting. He then moved on to ESPN.com in 2011, where he served as the West Region recruiting reporter and then the Pac-12 recruiting reporter. He took over as publisher of WeAreSC in January, 2019.

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