Redshirt junior tight end Xavier Grimble, like many, spent much of 2013 on and off the injury list, though he was a reliable presence when healthy and earned an All-Pac-12 honorable mention.
By the numbers: 25 receptions, 270 yards and 2 touchdowns
What went right: Grimble has been consistently productive as a Trojan and this season was no exception. He finished third on the team in receptions and yards in a year when USC desperately needed consistent receiving threats. In ten games in which he caught a pass, nine were multi-catch outings.
It was Grimble’s 30-yard touchdown catch against Utah State which put the Trojans up 14-7 at the half and he completed a first down reception on the second half game-winning field goal drive.
In the loss to UCLA, Grimble caught his second touchdown pass of the season to put USC within seven points of their rivals.
What went wrong: Unfortunately for Grimble, like years past, the highly-touted tight end was never truly able to capture the full extent of his potential. After missing a chunk of spring practice with a rib injury, his fitness ultimately let him down as a shoulder injury kept him either out or limited in four games in the middle of the season.
The trip to South Bend stands out as a moment when Grimble could have made the difference between winning and losing had he been healthy.
Considering how Grimble caught four touchdowns in 2011 and five in 2012, his two scoring grabs in 2013 left plenty to be desired.
What’s next: Grimble declared for the 2014 NFL draft, choosing to forgo his fifth year at USC for the pros. NFLdraftscout.com grades him as the fourth tight end available and projects the 6-5, 255 pounder to go in the third round.
Final Grade: B+
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