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With the loss of Nelson Agholor and George Farmer to the NFL, USC has a number of unproven options vying to step into the spot alongside sophomore JuJu Smith, who should lead the unit.
Junior Darreus Rogers, sophomore Ajene Harris and redshirt sophomore Steven Mitchell will compete for starting positions while walk-on senior George Katrib will have his role to play.
At tight end, the Trojans are especially thin, fielding sophomore Bryce Dixon and redshirt junior Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick in the absence of the graduating Randall Telfer.
So what do the incoming recruits at receiver and tight end have to add to USC in 2015?
Isaac Whitney, the three-star receiver out of Riverside Community College, is already enrolled and will participate in spring camp. The tall red-zone threat ranks at No. 5 among junior college wide receivers according to 247Sports composite.
De’Quan Hampton, the four-star receiver out of Long Beach City College, checks in as the No. 2 wide out and top Californian recruit from the junior college ranks. Like Whitney, Hampton is a big-bodied receiver who offers a legitimate threat downfield and around the endzone.
Ykili Ross, a four-star cornerback recruit from Riverside Poly, could also contribute on the offensive side of the ball as a receiver.
Tyler Petite, the four-star tight end from Campolindo, flipped from Duke in December and offers another much-needed body at the position. Ranked No. 9 among tight ends, Petite is another pass-catching option for the Trojans at tight end.
Who Could Be In?
Equanimeous St. Brown, a four-star receiver from Servite, will be deciding between Notre Dame, Stanford, UCLA and USC on Signing Day, though he is not expected to pick the Trojans.
Cordell Broadus, the four-star receiver from Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, is the son of long-time USC fan Snoop Dog. He will announce his college decision on Signing Day between Arizona State, LSU, UCLA and USC. Like St. Brown, he is not expected to select the Trojans.
Tyrone Wheatley Jr., the four-star tight end out of Canisius in New York, is the No. 12 tight end available and the top rated prospect from the state of New York. He is expected to sign with Michigan but could end up with the Trojans if they end up with room for him on Signing Day.
Terry Godwin, a five-star receiver from Callaway in Georgia, visited the Trojans in December but ultimately committed to Georgia.
Damarkus Lodge, a four-star receiver from Cedar Hill, Texas, also visited USC in September but is set to decide between Ole Miss and Texas A&M.
Bringing in junior college recruits like Whitney and Hampton usually indicates the intention to get them involved right away, as they already have experience at the college level. So both will be expected to slot into the rotation immediately.
That they offer serious height is a major bonus, with Smith standing the tallest of USC’s current wide outs.
Steve Sarkisian’s offense is predicated on a variety of options, so there’s every reason to believe the two could fill the downfield role, while Mitchell and Harris take care of the underneath. Ross’ place in the offense could follow the same road already traveled by Adoree’ Jackson, though his status as a two-way player remains wait and see.
Though the wide outs look set to sort themselves out, the Trojans lack of depth at tight end would be a serious problem if not for the addition of Petite. He may not be as ready to play right away as Dixon before him, but an extra body in the fold never hurt.