USC Football News: What do Trojans get in OU Transfer Taylor McNamara?


USC has secured a big pick up to address a lack of depth at tight end, with the impending transfer of Taylor McNamara from the Oklahoma Sooners.

He’s slated to be a graduate transfer in July, giving him two years to immediately play two seasons with the Trojans.

To get some insight on McNamara, we sat down with Sooners beat reporter Joe Buettner of The Oklahoma Daily.

Reign of Troy: What kind of player is USC getting in Taylor McNamara? Is he a hand-in-the-dirt tight end or an passing target?

Joe Buettner:From what OU fans have seen, McNamara would appear to be just a blocking tight end. However, he did catch two touchdown passes in OU’s 2014 spring game. The potential is there for McNamara to develop in to a passing target, but he wasn’t in the right system. He’s got a great frame to do both, so there’s a lot of upside for him to excel under a coach who can give him the tools to live up to his Rivals rating.

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RoT: McNamara has just one catch in the last two years since redshirting as a true freshman. Is his limited production a result of being buried on depth chart, losing position battles, injuries or something else?

JB:The production is mostly a result of OU’s offensive schemes. Oklahoma did warm up to senior Blake Bell as a receiving tight end this past season. However, that didn’t help McNamara’s case for more playing time. From the small sample size we’ve seen, McNamara doesn’t look bad as a goal line passing target. However, you’d think he would’ve been able to beat out Bell for the starting tight end job considering Blake played quarterback his first three seasons at Oklahoma.

RoT: McNamara redshirted in 2012 because of a shoulder injury, but he started as a true freshman against Florida A&M. Yes, it was a cupcake game against FAMU, but was he expected to do big things immediately as a freshman?

JB: I think he was expected to be a big part of the offense. Oklahoma fans got accustomed to seeing NFL tight end Jermaine Greshman be a prime target in the Sam Bradford era. However, it never worked out with McNamara, despite OU lacking any serious receiving threats outside of Sterling Shepard in 2014.

RoT: Lastly, USC is starving for a tight end with Bryce Dixon seemingly gone. Do you think McNamara can be a reliable answer to the Trojans’ struggles there?

JB: I think McNamara can turn in to “that guy.” From the little tape there is of the 6-foot-5 redshirt junior, it’s hard to say. But he has shown some good hands before, and with the right coaching, McNamara could be viable as an over-the-middle type threat and a short-yardage specialist.

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For more on the Sooners, be sure to give Buettner a follow in Twitter at @Joe_Buettner.