Mailbag Monday: Names on Jerseys and Position Battles


We’ve been fielding your questions for our Mailbag Monday feature, so let’s celebrate the start of the work week by getting right into your questions on the USC Trojans.

1. Do you think USC will ever put names on the back of the jerseys like Penn State? (Tim via Twitter)

In short, no. The Trojans are now the only team in NCAA history to never have names on the back of their jerseys, and expect that to be a constant. Notre Dame and Penn State don’t have that distinction anymore, and for reasons that have either historical or beneficial value. The Irish have used names during bowl games sparingly for decades, while Penn State’s decision to put names on their jerseys this season is a tribute to the loyalty of the players who decided to stay with the program through their tough times this year. Until USC has a reason, their jerseys will remain nameless.

2. Who is the 3rd best receiver for the Trojans? (Mark via Twitter)

The Trojans have a ton of talent at receiver, as evident with the on-going fight for the No. 3 receiver job this fall camp. De’Von Flournoy made a case to be the guy earlier in camp, though the last week has really seen the rise in George Farmer’s stock. With Nelson Agholor still adapting to the college game, and Victor Blackwell somewhere in between everyone, Flournoy or Farmer have to be the favorites. Flournoy has the experience of being in quite a few camps for the Trojans with Lane Kiffin at the helm, while Farmer’s advantage lies in his athleticism. If Farmer stays healthy, he’s the third best, strictly because of his talent level. Flournoy is still a valuable weapon for the Trojans, as he brings a veteran pressence to the receiving corps, despite still waiting for his first catch at the college level.

3. By mid-season, who has the majority of the touches in the backfield? (Chaz via Twitter)

Curtis McNeal and Silas Redd will split carries all season long. Lane Kiffin loves to have a two-back field and expect these two guys to really whet his appetietie in a way that McNeal and Marc Tyler weren’t able to do perform as a tandem last season. Having said that, Redd is has tremendous vision, and with a couple of months of practice under his belt, don’t be surprised if he winds up with slightly more carries than McNeal. Especially, if Kiffin deploys a similar strategy that he did in 2005, when he used the passing game to setup the run and give the Trojans a chance to grind it out the red zone, err Redd Zone.

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