Throughout USC football history, flashiness has always been a hallmark of the Trojans. No club brings the glitz like USC wide receivers. Who’s the best ever?
Despite being a school with so many iconic running backs, the modernization of college football in the last 25 years has seen USC become home to elite receivers.
For every dynamic quarterback, from Rob Johnson to Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart, there’s been a dominating receiver right there alongside.
That doesn’t mean there hasn’t been some history, either. Put it all together and the top USC wide receivers make a star-studded group spanning several decades and miles of receiving yards.
Let’s walk through the list, starting at No. 15…
15. Kareem Kelly (1999-2002)
No USC wide receiver has ever been as consistent as Kareem Kelly. A four-year stater with the Trojans out of Long Beach Poly, he put together a record-setting career.
Kelly burst onto the scene in 1999 to set school marks for yards (902) and catches (54) by a freshman. He then virtually repeated those numbers four-times over, on his way to a then-record 204 catches.
Despite since being passed by five high-profile Trojan wide outs, the 6-foot-1 speedster is firmly entrenched in USC lore as a trendsetter.
Kelly was a favorite target for eventual Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer, while being part of a 2002 senior class featuring Troy Polamalu that pulled the Trojans out of the depths of the Paul Hackett era and set the stage for Pete Carroll’s historic run.
They went 4-0 against arch-rival UCLA, including Kelly singlehandedly ending the Bruins’ eight-year winning streak, with USC’s only two touchdowns in a 17-7 win to end the 1999 season.