Receiver Has Depth, But Lacks Proven Production, More USC Football News


Can’t get enough USC football? We’ve got your morning dose of all the best content from around the web concerning the men of Troy.

1st & 10:

First Take… You’ll hear talk this offseason that USC’s wide receiving corps will be stronger this year than last.

That is funny talk for a team which loses five of its top seven pass catchers from last year.

Consider this: The contributions of Adoree’ Jackson, Justin Davis and Steven Mitchell, USC’s eight, ninth and tenth leading receivers, do not even match the yardage achieved by George Farmer in 2014.

Not that Farmer blew anyone away with 314 yards on the year.

It is universally accepted that the USC defensive line will need to rely on increased depth to account for the loss of Leonard Williams. But few are talking about the line being better than it was with Williams terrorizing defenses.

The receivers face a similar road with the loss of Nelson Agholor, though the struggle to replace him has been far less advertised.

Yes, there should be increased depth with the likes of Isaac Whitney and De’Quan Hampton joining the team, but that depth is mostly populated by unproven commodities.

Darreus Rogers has never hauled in more than 22 catches in a season. Mitchell has seven catches to his name. Jackson will be juggling two other jobs on defense and special teams.

After JuJu Smith, there is plenty of possibility, but little certainty.

And Ten USC Football Links…

  1. Bleacher Report: Cody Kessler is college football’s Drew Brees, says Greg Wallace in a ranking of the top QBs in the NCAA and their NFL counterparts. That’s high praise for Kessler, who has earned the comparison by putting up big numbers despite lacking prototypical size.
  2. Daily News: You’ll be seeing more of Matt Leinart this fall on Fox Sports’ football broadcasts. The former Heisman winner is set to be promoted as an in-studio analyst during pregame, halftime and postgames shows on Fox’s college coverage.
  3. ESPN: Which is the best defensive position group in the Pac-12? David Lombardi and Kyle Bonagura both took a stab at answering the question, with the former settling on USC’s linebackers while the latter took UCLA’s defensive line.
  4. RipsIt Blog: In case you couldn’t keep track of all the watch list madness going on over the past two weeks, Sarah Bergstrom put together a nifty round up of Trojans in the running for awards.
  5. SB Nation: Kevin Trahan over at SB Nation put together a cool, visual examination of the offensive style and efficiency of each conference. The Pac-12 chart shows that USC’s offense is one of just three in the conference which favors the run. The Trojans are also among the three most efficient teams. Of note, though the Pac-12 does not significantly outrank other conferences, there are no truly inefficient teams in the conference as compared to others.
  6. Shotgun Spratling’s countdown of the 30 key Trojans for 2015 continues with Leon McQuay III, who has plenty to prove after a shaky 2014.
  7. NFL training camps are just around the corner, so Dan Weber took his chance to catch up with pros who have been hanging around campus before business begins. As you’d expect from USC, there are a ton of Trojans to catch up with in the NFL.
  8. OC Register: Michael Lev spoke to Troy Schult of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette to preview the prolific offense and wait-and-see defense of USC first opponent in 2015, the Arkansas Red Wolves.
  9. Reign of Troy: From McQuay vs. Hawkins to Davis vs. Madden, we took a look at the most intriguing position battles for the coming season.
  10. Reign of Troy: Jordan Simmons is moving to the defensive line this fall, which could yield big things for USC in the defensive trenches. Tarik LaCour examined the pros and cons of the switch.

Stat of the Day:

USC returns just six of the 13 players who caught a pass in 2014. The seven departed* players accounted for 66.7% of the Trojans passing offense.

*Or injured, in the case of Ajene Harris.

Tweets of the Day:

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