Two talented fourth-year juniors for the Trojans, left tackle Matt Kalil and defensive end Nick Perry, were added to the 2011 Lombardi Award watch list this week, honoring the nation's best lineman.
USC now has 11 watch-list mentions this preseason. This was Kalil's second and Perry's first.
The 125-man list for the Lombardi Award includes offensive and defensive linemen and linebackers who typically line up within five yards of the line of scrimmage. 13 Pac-12 players made the list, including three from Stanford. USC and Cal are the only other conference schools to have more than one nominated player.
Kalil, the younger brother of Carolina Panthers center Ryan Kalil, is USC's top returning lineman expected to start his second season at left tackle in 2011. He's thought of a potential first-round pick next April, if he chooses to declare for the NFL draft.
Perry, a Detroit native, has only 10 career starts for the Trojans but led the team in sacks as a freshman in 2009 with eight. He was sidelined for the season opener last season and hampered by a sprained ankle for much of the year, finishing with only four sacks. Like Kalil, he's a potential first-rounder.
USC's other players named to watch lists thus far include quarterback Matt Barkley, receiver Robert Woods, tight end Rhett Ellison, center Khaled Holmes and safety T.J. McDonald.