Two weeks ago, it was Phil Steele’s annual preseason lists that featured USC wide receiver Nelson Agholor and defensive lineman Leonard Williams. On Monday, it was Athlon Sports that named both Agholor and Williams first team preseason All-Americans.Both Williams and Agholor came to USC from the state of Florida in the 2012 recruiting class, picking the Trojans over in-state schools like Florida and Florida State. Two years later, it’s safe to say they’re in good situations individually.
Williams might be the best defensive lineman in the country, and Agholor is looking like the man to step into the shoes of Marqise Lee and Robert Woods as an elite receiver.
As a sophomore, Williams had a remarkable 73 tackles, which is quite a feat for a lineman that can play multiple positions on the interior of the line. The only defensive linemen in Pac-12 with more tackles last year were Utah’s Trevor Reilly and Oregon’s Taylor Hart.
Agholor was USC’s leader in both receiving yards and touchdowns last season, as he totaled 56 catches, 918 yards and six touchdowns. His numbers should improve as a junior, with quarterback Cody Kessler being a year older and Agholor now being the clear-cut No. 1 receiver.
In addition to being a first team preseason All-American at receiver, Agholor made Athlon’s third team All-America special teams unit as a punt returner. Also making the deep lists were Hayes Pullard as a third-team linebacker and Max Tuerk as a fourth-team offensive lineman.