After the departures of JuJu Smith-Schuster and Darreus Rogers, USC football must find a pair of new starting receivers in 2017. Who’s the most exciting young wide out going into spring camp?
The 2017 USC football team is replacing four wide receivers, making spring camp is a showcase for the Trojans’ vaunted group of 2016 wide receiver signings. All but one, Michael Pittman, redshirted as a true freshman, ensuring a slew of new faces.
Who will be the most exciting to watch in spring? Here’s what the Reign of Troy team says…
Alicia de Artola:
Josh Imatorbhebhe showed off his impressive size and body control during his first spring camp as an early enrollee in 2016, but he remained a raw talent who needed to settle in.
He took that time during his redshirt season and now he holds a slight advantage over some of the younger receivers having already gone through the grind of spring. With starting places up for grabs, Imatorbhebhe has the very real shot at pushing for one of those jobs.
Given the success of his older brother, Daniel, at tight end, the younger Imatorbhebhe is one of the more exciting up-and-coming players to watch for the entire team, let alone among the receivers — if he can reach his potential. But that’s what spring is for.
Michael Pittman has the most upsize given his physicality, but the most exciting competitor at receiver has to be Tyler Vaughns. We’ve yet to see what he can do with a bulk of reps, and his style of play make him an enticing option for the Trojans.
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Despite being listed at 6-foot-2, he has an impressive length and wingspan, leading him to play as if he’s 6-foot-5.
The result during the fall was a series of highlight reel catches in practice. That should only improve in spring, as he continues to develop and sees more action.
Without Smith-Schuster ahead of him on the depth chart, he should be able to make a strong run at first-team reps.
Look for Pittman and Imatorbhebhe to compete for a role similar to that of a split-end, while Vaughns’s biggest threat in camp –before Joseph Lewis arrives– might be redshirt junior Jalen Greene.