The 2013 USC football season couldn’t have overcome the adversity of losing two coaches leaving mid-season without multiple players breaking out and becoming household names.
With the 2014 Trojans getting ready to write their own story, we at Reign of Troy set out look for the next Buck Allen.
Here’s our roundtable on who will break out this season:
Going to have to go with George Farmer, who has had an incredibly unlucky tenure at USC thus far. Knock on wood, but it looks like the injury troubles are giving him a chance to be a big part of the Trojans’ offense this season, and he should fit perfectly in the Trojans’ offense.
Mar 11, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans receiver George Farmer (8) at spring practice at Howard Jones Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Tee Martin has all of the receivers shuffling around as split ends, flankers and slot receivers, and Farmer might be the most adept at playing all three spots.
He was supposed to be better than Marqise Lee coming out of high school and out-raced De’Anthony Thomas in high school, so if he can get anywhere close to where he was projected to be, he’ll be the Trojans’ X-factor on offense.
That said, with all of the injuries and bad luck that he’s had as a Trojan, plus the depth at receiver, Farmer is somewhat of a bonus player. If you can get a full year out of him, that’s wonderful. If’s sidetracked once again, SC is back where it was, and that isn’t exactly an over precarious position to be in given the strength at receiver.
On the surface, you’d like to say someone like Adoree’ Jackson, and the truth is that he probably will be a breakout star for the Trojans. But this is about who will have the biggest breakout year and I think that it will end up being Buck Allen.
- Markese Stepp enters transfer portal intending to leave USC football
- USC football’s Alijah Vera-Tucker declares for NFL Draft
- USC football adds Xavion Alford as transfer from Texas
- Talanoa Hufanga named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, USC football with five first-teamers
- Talanoa Hufanga is officially and rightly an All-American for USC football
Sarkisian loves the power run and Allen showed Troy that he was capable of handling the everyday load.
Allen really put on a show in the Las Vegas Bowl and the hurry-up, no-huddle offense ought to create some pretty big holes for Allen, and we know what a guy like him can do when he gets a seam.
There figures to be multiple breakout players in this type of offense, as the entire point of it is to spread the ball around. Guys are going to get their chances and it will be up to them to cash them in.
JuJu Smith is another guy that has all the ability in the world to have a breakout season. Smith has been so good on offense that some of his offensive teammates have publicly said they hope Sarkisian keeps him on offense.
Under the assumption this answer will illicit plenty of responses for offensive guys who will have a big year in 2014, I’m going to go with Su’a Cravens.
He played in all but one of the 14 games in 2013 and had a solid season as a true freshman (making multiple All-American lists).
He had an impressive debut with the one interception against Hawaii and came up big in the upset over Stanford.
Despite getting the significant playing time, one impediment — if you want to call it that — is Cravens will be playing under a new defensive coordinator this season.
However, it doesn’t appear as though the coaches are going to go away from his strengths.
I think Cravens will use the experience he gained last season and build on it to add to his play-making ability. His versatility of being able to play as a traditional safety or a hybrid a la Shaq Thompson, is certainly intriguing.
Cravens finished eighth on the team in tackles and second in interceptions. Assuming he’ll be moved around on defense, a top-five finish in tackles wouldn’t surprise me.
What say you? Who will be the Trojans’ breakout start in 2014? Vote in our poll and leave your say below in the comments.
Who will break out for USC in 2014?