Who will lead USC football in receiving statistics in 2019? The Trojans have a handful of very promising candidates to take the reins.
USC football’s passing offense should be plenty interesting in 2019 as the Trojans transition to the Air Raid offense. Especially if the offense is able to bounce back from last year’s disappointment.
Clay Helton’s team may not have great depth in the receiving corps, but few teams have so many dangerous receiving options at their disposal.
So who will dominate the stats on the receiving charts in the fall?
Who led last year?
Last year, Amon-Ra St. Brown led the team with 60 receptions, narrowly edging Tyler Vaughns with 58 catches. St. Brown himself was barely bested by Michael Pittman for the team lead in receiving yards. Pittman had 758 while St. Brown had 750.
Pittman and Vaughns shared the lead for the most touchdowns on the team with six each.
When it comes to yards per catch, Pittman came away on top with an average of 18.49, best of Trojan receivers with double-digit catches, though Devon Williams averaged 21.75 on just four receptions.
Who will factor in now?
USC was supposed to return their entire receiving corps from 2018, but the transfer portal complicated matters.
Four receivers from the 2018 roster are now gone, though the leading figures in the passing chance haven’t really changed with the loss of Velus Jones Jr., Trevon Sidney, Josh Imatorbhebhe and Randal Grimes. Jones Jr. was fourth on the team with 24 catches for 266 yards while Sidney had seven grabs for 104 yards. Neither Imatorbhebhe nor Sidney had a catch last season.
Pittman, Vaughns and St. Brown will be back, and that’s really what matters most. The growing inclusion of Devon Williams, who had a strong Spring Camp, could get interesting.
- Catches: Amon-Ra St. Brown
- Receiving yards: Michael Pittman
- Touchdowns: Michael Pittman
- Yards per catch: Devon Williams
Call it a cop out, but it feels likely that the standings from last year will remain essentially the same, though production in general will rise considerably in the Air Raid..
Three receivers had more than 600 receiving yards but less than 800 in 2018. This coming season it seems far more likely USC will have two receivers in the 1,000-yard range. North Texas had 3988 yards passing under offensive coordinator Graham Harrell last year. That’s 999 more yards than USC.
When it comes to volume of catches, St. Brown can be expected to be targeted early and often, even though most of his receptions will likely come underneath.
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Pittman will see his share of targets, but his ability to stretch the field and beat defenders with both speed and size make him a downfield nightmare. USC should do a better job of utilizing him that way this year.
Vaughns could certainly do damage in the endzone once again in 2019, but Pittman was other-worldly in Spring Camp, particularly in the red zone. For that reason, expect him to lead the team in touchdowns.
Williams will have many more than four catches as a sophomore, but he won’t have the same volume as the aforementioned trio. His downfield contributions will net him the lead in yards per catch.