USC football tight ends coach Seth Doege dropped some serious hype on Drake London by comparing him to Texas Tech great Michael Crabtree.
Drake London is an absolute demon of a receiver. Watching the receiver drag defenses on his back in 2020 proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Even so, the USC football star is far from a household name in college football. The 2021 season should fix that, especially if London can live up to the lofty comparison made by tight ends coach Seth Doege on Tuesday.
"Every time I see him run a route it looks very eerily similar to [Michael Crabtree]," said Doege, who played quarterback at Texas Tech along with Crabtree and offensive coordinator Graham Harrell.
The comparison hinges on skills translated from the basketball court plus the size and physicality to outbattle defenders. Crabtree's bread and butter was being unguardable on slants and fades. Those are the same routes London can dominate, especially when the Trojans move him outside as they've one early in Spring Camp.
"Obviously Crab had a ton of success in the system so there's something to be said for finding ways to keep Drake outside," Doege said.
Drake London can dominate wherever he lines up for USC football
Just last week, we wondered if moving London to the outside was necessary. USC's offense relied on him creating mismatches and disrupting defenders on the inside. And frankly, it's just hard to imagine the Trojans finding someone to replace him.
That observation still stands. It may be better for London to be a legend on the inside than to try for a Crabtree impression.
Still, Doege's comments make for a mouthwatering possibility.
What if USC does find someone to do the job on the inside? What if London terrorizes defenses from the outside the way Crabtree did?
In two seasons at Texas Tech, Crabtree had 3,127 yards and 41 touchdowns. Defenses couldn't contain the two-time Biletnikoff Award winner.
The scary thing about London is that he has Crabtree beat for size. The former is 6-foot-5, the latter is 6-foot-1. Height isn't everything, but when you bring the same skillset, it makes a difference.
Then again, Doege brought up some of the players who could warrant limiting London's time outside.
Bru McCoy sure looked the part in 2020, while Gary Bryant Jr. has already made waves with a string of strong practices playing on the outside. That's not even mentioning the potential of Kyle Ford or the arrival of transfers K.D. Nixon and Tahj Washington.
"You don't want to take a good player off the field either," Doege said.
"But we have to figure out where we can manipulate and create some mismatches for Drake."
The key is being smart about it and finding a balance that gets the best out of London while also giving defenses plenty to worry about elsewhere.
This all comes back to something we wrote months ago: USC needs to start a Heisman campaign for London, yesterday.