With new wideouts and a crowded backfield, Booty will be the focal point of USC's offense. He led the Pac-10 with 3,347 yards and 29 touchdown passes last season. However, receivers Dwayne Jarrett and Steve Smith leave big shoes to fill. If Booty has a similar season with a new supporting cast, he could join USC's growing list of Heisman Trophy winners.
Jackson was another of USC's top players who opted to return to school rather than enter the NFL Draft. He can be a dominant lineman, but he'll hope for a better start than last year when he went without a sack until the ninth game of the season.
Davis is the nation's returning leader in sacks after posting 12.5 last season. The 6-foot-3, 234-pound pass rusher will have to prove he can do it on his own now that teammate Justin Hickman (12.5 sacks) is gone.
Torain quietly had one of the best seasons in school history and one of the best rookie seasons in Pac-10 history. His 1,229 rushing yards were the best by a Sun Devil since ASU joined the Pac-10. It was also the best year by a newcomer to conference since Corey Dillon in 1996.
Ellis should be in the running for All-America honors this season. The junior has started the last two years for the Trojans, and has accumulated nine sacks and 16 tackles for a loss in his two-year career.
In two seasons, Jackson has become the Pac-10's most dynamic playmaker. He finished last year with 1,060 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. He also had a streak of eight consecutive games (over a span of two seasons) with a touchdown catch.
The 6-foot-3, 299-pound Harwell anchors the Bruins' rush defense, which led the Pac-10 last year and finished in the top 10 nationally. Harwell has 18 tackles for losses in his two seasons as a starter.
At this writing, Stroughter has been absent from practice for more than a week in order to deal with "personal issues." If he returns, he definitely belongs on this team. Stroughter emerged last year as one of the Pac-10's most effective players. He went into 2006 with five career catches but finished the season with 74 for 1,293 yards and five touchdowns. He is also a dynamic special teams player.
Rivers led the Trojans in tackles (85) last year as a junior, and he is the leader of the nation's best linebacking corps. Because of his speed, he is often listed as one of the best outside linebackers in the nation.
USC's offense got a major boost when Baker spurned the NFL Draft to return to Los Angeles. Baker has placed on a Rivals.com All-America team each year of his career: He was a first-team Freshman All-American in 2004, a third-team All-American in 2005 and a first-teamer last year.
Cushing played away from his natural outside linebacker position last year and still finished with 57 tackles and 13.5 tackles for a loss from his defensive end position. He'll return to strongside linebacker this year.
Arizona State will look toward Rodd for leadership up front. He led a line that paved the way for the Pac-10's second-best running game in 2006. Rodd is small for a tackle at 6-4, 303 pounds, but he has started all 23 games in his career.
Cason will leave Arizona as one of the top defensive players in school history. A lockdown corner, Cason was a Thorpe Award semifinalist last year. He made three interceptions as a junior despite teams throwing away from him most of the time.
Tevaga is one of the Pac-10's most consistent performers. He has blocked for two 1,000-yard backs - Chris Markey in 2006 and Maurice Drew in 2004. Tevaga has started 31 consecutive games as he enters his senior season.
A season-ending injury to Josh Pinkard forced Mays into a starting role one game into his true freshman season. He excelled at the position and will stay at free safety after recording 62 tackles and three interceptions last year.
The 6-foot-5, 300-pound Mack is on the watch lists for the Lombardi Award (top lineman), Outland Trophy (top interior lineman) and Rimington Award (top center). Last season, Mack helped Marshawn Lynch win the Pac-10 rushing title.
The 2005 Lou Groza Award winner returns for his fourth season as one of the Pac-10's top kickers. He enters the season with 106 consecutive made extra points. He's also good from long distances. He kicked four field goals of at least 50 yards last year, including a 58-yarder.
Stewart has twice led the Pac-10 in kickoff returns with a career average of 30 yards per return. He should build on his 981 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns from last year to show why Rivals.com rated him a five-star prospect in the class of 2005.
Longshore is continuing the Jeff Tedford tradition of producing top college quarterbacks. He recovered from a poor start in the opener against Tennessee last season to pass for 3,021 yards and 23 touchdowns. Those totals were good for second in the conference behind John David Booty.
Forsett has big shoes to fill stepping in for Marshawn Lynch and J.J. Arrington, who both led the Pac-10 in rushing. Forsett came up 1 yard short of a 1,000-yard season when he was a backup in 2005. He should get to 1,000 as a starter this year.
Markey rushed for 1,107 yards last year, and was a threat in the passing game as well. The running back hauled in a team-leading 35 receptions in 2006. However, if UCLA is going to be successful it will need more than two touchdowns out of him this season.
With Sedrick Ellis, Moala forms the best defensive tackle tandem in the Pac-10. Playing alongside Ellis for the final seven games last year, Moala had five tackles for a loss and two sacks over that span.
At 6 feet 5, 240 pounds, Williams is a big, physical receiver who emerged as the Ducks' top downfield threat last year. He started the season on a tear. He had five 100-yard receiving days in the first eight games. He finished the season with 984 yards receiving and six touchdowns.
Overshadowed by fellow lineman Mkristo Bruce, Pitoitua made quite return from an injury in 2006. He finished the year with 7.5 tackles for a loss in only nine games. As a freshman, he recorded five sacks.
Turner steps into the shoes of Dwayne Jarrett and Mike Williams as USC's next big, physical receiver. He sat behind Jarrett and Steve Smith last year, but finished with 12 catches, 170 yards and two touchdowns. Booty predicts Turner will become USC's next big offensive playmaker.
Cal has not had an all-conference tight end since Tony Gonzalez. Stevens could break that streak, but voters will have to watch his blocking as much as pass catching. Used primarily as a blocker, Stevens finished with 17 catches for 239 yards and a touchdown.
Doggett, Oregon State's second-leading tackler with 87 last year, returns to lead the Beavers' veteran defense. He is one of Oregon State's best big-play defenders. Last season, he had five sacks and three interceptions - including one he returned for a touchdown against Oregon.
Unger is Oregon's top offensive lineman. The question, though, is where he will play. He has started at left tackle the last two seasons, but the Ducks could move their all-conference tackle to center.
With Arizona adding some of Texas Tech's pass-happy offense, more pressure will be on Britton this year to protect injury-plagued quarterback Willie Tuitama. Britton (6-6, 310) started all 12 games last year and earned Rivals.com second-team Freshman All-American honors.
Brown draws the assignment of covering the Pac-10's top receivers as UCLA's lockdown corner. His experience (30 consecutive starts) helps make up for his relative lack of size (5-9, 189). He finished last year with the team lead in interceptions (four) and pass break-ups (nine).
At 6 feet 3 and 231 pounds, Barrett could fit in as an outside linebacker. However, he's doing just fine at safety. Last year, he led the Sun Devils with 82 tackles and three interceptions despite fighting a shoulder injury.
In addition to his emergence as a receiver, Stroughter became one of the nation's top return men in 2006. He averaged 15.7 yards per return and finished with three touchdowns. Two were against USC and Boise State. Again, his status with the team is in doubt at this point because of "personal issues."
Johnson has proven to be a perfect running mate for Stewart in Oregon's backfield. Although he could start for many teams, Johnson forced his way into the Ducks' lineup enough to run for 644 yards and 10 touchdowns.