Wide receiver isn’t a position of desperate need for USC football recruiting in 2017, but the Trojans will look to close strong to add more to their riches.
Although there are other areas of greater need than pass catchers for USC’s brain trust, wide receivers will not be ignored in this recruiting cycle.
In fact, one of the higher profile recruits on the Trojans wish list fall into this category and USC has already garnered a verbal commitments from another player who plies his trade catching passes.
In terms of the coaching staffs long term plans, the efforts in this area will address needs down the road although a case could be made that this position may demand attention sooner rather than later.
Per 247sports.com, this is what USC’s 2016 roster looked like in terms of wide receiver:
Michael Pittman Jr.
While on the surface it appears USC is in great shape at wide receiver in terms of numbers, a closer look reveals a somewhat muddled picture.
For example, Smith-Schuster, Hampton, Rogers and Whitney will all be leaving the program due to exhausted eligibility or in the case of Smith-Schuster, an early entrant to the NFL.
Meanwhile, Boyer, Quansah, Russell and Stewart are walk-ons and while they are valuable in terms of the team, they will not be seeing much—if any—playing time.
Finally, Young is being looked at closely as a cornerback and Mitchell is trying to come back from yet another knee injury.
This means that viable options at position will include Burnett, Imatorbhebe, Pittman Jr., Sidney, Jones and Vaughns and, of those, only Burnett and Pittman Jr. saw the playing field in 2016.
All of which means that the Trojans need at least two players at this position in this recruiting class.
One player who has given his verbal commitment is Randal Grimes, a 6-foot-5, 205 pound player who is listed as an athlete but will certainly play wide receiver.
To find the other, the Trojans have offered an abundance of prep wide receivers, many of which have looked elsewhere to spend their college careers.
Of those offers still out there for receivers who have not committed, the following players are still considering USC, per 247sports.com
At one time, Marlon Williams was committed to the Trojans but rescinded his verbal recently either by mutual agreement or because he saw the writing on the wall and decided to look elsewhere.
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That leaves Joseph Lewis, a five-star beast who would be first on USC’s wish list and a player that looks likely to sign his name on the Trojans dotted line come February first.
If Lewis does indeed sign with USC, the Trojans should be pretty well set at this position for the foreseeable future.
If not, there should be a bevy of prep pass catchers next year who would love nothing more than to snag throws from stud quarterback Sam Darnold in 2018.
That is if Darnold stays around for what would be his redshirt junior season.
But that is another article just waiting to be written.