NCF Nation: Cary Harris

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

We've discussed positions of concern a lot. But where are teams (almost) worry-free?

Here are some spots.

USC's offensive line: The Trojans welcome back all five starters, including the nation's best center, Kristofer O'Dowd. And, oh by the way, super-sophomore Tyron Smith might displace returning starter Butch Lewis at tackle. The Trojans averaged 195 yards rushing per game last year and surrendered only 18 sacks, fewest in the conference.

California's secondary: All four starters are back, including first-team All-Pac-10 cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson, from a unit that finished third in the nation with 24 interceptions and ranked sixth in pass efficiency defense. And the backups are so good that a couple of returning starters are hearing footsteps.

USC's secondary: Start with Taylor Mays and Josh Pinkard, the best safety combination in the nation -- though Pinkard played corner last year. Sure, two starters -- Kevin Ellison and Cary Harris -- are gone. But three players -- safety Will Harris and corners Shareece Wright and Kevin Thomas -- have starting experience. And a couple of the youngsters turned in impressive springs.

Oregon State's quarterbacks: The Beavers have two successful starting quarterbacks in Sean Canfield and Lyle Moevao, though Moevao is coming back from shoulder surgery. They also have an impressive No. 3 in redshirt freshman Ryan Katz, and Virginia transfer Peter Lalich is a wildcard who had disappeared before coming up big in the spring game. His questionable attitude won't help him climb the depth chart, though.

UCLA's tight ends: Ryan Moya earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors last year, and he was Logan Paulsen's backup until Paulsen's season ended with a foot injury in the opener against Tennessee. The Bruins also like sophomore Cory Harkey, and then there's touted freshman Morrell Presley, who's more a hybrid receiver-tight end. Lots of options here. Just got to get them the ball.

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

USC cornerback Shareece Wright, who's been in the news of late because he was charged with resisting arrest just before the Ohio State game, has a fractured vertebra and could miss up to six weeks of action.

Defense coordinator Nick Holt told me two weeks ago that Wright was the most underrated player on the Trojans defense, so this is a big loss as USC gets ready for a Thursday date with Oregon State on ESPN.

That said, USC is probably the nation's deepest team. Wright will be replaced by a player very familiar to USC fans -- Josh Pinkard -- an outstanding athlete who has suffered two serious knee injuries during his career. Pinkard has not started a game since the 2006 season opener at Arkansas.

A fifth-year senior, Pinkard has seen considerable action during the first two games in a rotation with Wright and starter Cary Harris and backup Kevin Thomas, who also has starting experience.

USC coach Pete Carroll previously told the LA Times that Wright would be disciplined internally for his arrest but -- before the extent of his injury was known -- that Wright would start at Oregon State.

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