USC Football: WR De’Von Flournoy Eager For His Moment


Apr 5, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans former receiver Damian Williams (right) talks with receiver De

Fall camp is the time when teams regroup and gear up for the season. When coaches assess their rosters and chart their road to January. When fans start checking media outlets religiously, to see what has been going on since their team last stepped foot on their home turf.

For players, it is also a time to move up the depth chart.

At USC, one of the main position battles is for that of the third wide receiver spot, and redshirt junior De’Von Flournoy is hard at work proving that for 2012, you should know his name. Flournoy has been in the ranks of Troy for three years, learning the offense and waiting for his moment to contribute to USC’s success. He came in as a member of the class of 2009 as one of Pete Carroll’s boys, but hamstring and toe injuries have kept him on the sidelines since then.

This year though, he is healthy and hungry, and it just might be his time to shine.

Apr 2, 2011; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans receiver De

“In redshirting Kiffin’s first year, I was able to take a year off and get stronger in the weight room, and get better at reading defenses as well as more comfortable with the offense,” Flournoy said of his years under the radar at USC.

He spent three years mentally and physically gearing up for playing time, two factors that might give him an advantage over the younger, greener guys like George Farmer, Victor Blackwell, and Nelson Agholor.

“I think the biggest thing that gives me an advantage is my age, and being in the same offense for three years,” Flournoy said, remarking on the battle for the WR 3 spot. “Being able to dissect all the plays from every position. When I first came in, I only knew what I needed to do, but now I know what is going on during plays from every angle.”

To be sure, Flournoy is not out to dethrone Trojan heroes Robert Woods and Marqise Lee. With two All-American talents ahead of him on the depth chart, Flournoy just wants to show what he can do, and is eager to contribute to the team however he can.

“I look at is as we have two of the best wide receivers in the country because they have proven themselves in actual games and have done exceptionally well. The rest of us are held to that standards which is phenomenal, and I want to live up to that. There’s a lot of competition and we are fighting for it every day; it brings out the best in us.”

Speaking of competition, things kind of turned in Flournoy’s favor during the first week of camp, as George Farmer has been dealing with hamstring issues of his own. Where one athlete might ruthlessly try to gain a foothold over the other, Flournoy does not. He recognizes that a team consists of more than just ego.

“I feel like the opportunity is presenting itself, but at the end of the day we are all Trojans. You can’t just win it with your starting 22 on the field. I am here to compete with the best in the country and as a competitor, I want to take advantage of every opportunity,” he said.

As such, Flournoy sees himself as a role player for USC, and he wants the opportunity to show he can fill it.

“I see myself as a slot receiver. But it’s also a really concept-based offense, so we mix it up. I could come out as a decoy, but then so could Georger or ‘Qise or Woody on a play. I don’t know if there’s a specific role I will play, but I am ready to just jump in there when my number is called and get my assignment done,” he said, looking ahead to the season.

In his years of adversity while at USC, Flournoy has come to learn a few things about the coaching staff and his teammates. First, he loves the fact that Lane Kiffin—like Carrol before him—will do whatever it takes to help a player see playing time.

“They’re about putting people in positions to win football games. He [Kiffin] had me talk to Coach Baxter about how I can be utilized to help on special teams,” Flournoy says, “I am not the number-one or number-two receiver, but I am all for doing special teams. As a player, you love a coach who wants to help you get on the field in any way shape or form.”

Under Kiffin is Tee Martin, the new wide receiver coach. He’s a guy coach coming from Tennessee in SEC country. The players love what he brings to the table in the wake of former coach, Ted Gilmore.

“They are two great coaches, they drill on the little thing to make you better. Coach Martin is younger and a little more hip to our music and lingo, which is cool but both are technicians and want you to be great. And if it’s not great, it’s not good enough.”

Flournoy feels like though the two coaches have obviously different styles, Tee also does one thing that Gilmore did that makes all the difference in the world: they expect their players to give 110-percent of the effort, at all time.

As far as his fellow class of 2009 athletes go, Flournoy is really proud of what these guys have come to stand for.

“It’s a sight to see. We all came under Carroll and those of us who stayed weathered the storm and it’s going to play off. We took a risk, and in doing so we will reap the reward this year. We have earned the trust of our coaches by doing the right thing over and over again, and that has helped us be better men as well,” he said.

Before this fall, “De’Von Flournoy” was not a name that just rolled of the tounges of USC fans. His was not a name that often came up in conversations as a possible role player for any particular games. This season though, Flournoy aims to do just that, and he wants to do it in any way he can. For him, it’s not about being “the guy”, but about being “the team”, and he has three more weeks of fall camp to earn the right to be am impact player for it.

“That’s what it takes. It’s not just about the starting 11 on offense or on defense. In these years of not being about to go to bowls, we have to take care of the team and be on the ‘buddy system’. If I can play as hard as I can for my buddy, then I know at the end of the day I did my job.”