USC Football's first portal pickup is a major one heading into the off-season
Though USC Football's playoff aspirations were cut short, head coach Lincoln Riley proved to the world that his team is the real deal. Countless stars on both sides of the ball progressed significantly as the year advanced. However, improvements must be made to fulfill the national championship goal.
One area in that USC could use some help is its special teams unit. Regarding their punting, there were numerous times when the momentum could have been shifted in the Trojans' favor. Amid games, these punts may not seem like much, but the overall outcome may be affected.
That said, USC recently picked up their first player from the transfer portal. First-team All-Pac-12 punter Eddie Czaplicki was a star for Arizona State. This addition is enormous for Riley and his staff as they now have a competent punter to rely on, especially in certain situations.
Furthermore, suppose USC is in a close battle. In that case, Czaplicki and the punt team can pin the opponent to within the 20, allowing the defense to get a stop. As these sequences add up, USC Football will ultimately come out on top.
Nonetheless, Czaplicki's commitment allows Riley's scheme to trend in the right direction. Special teams are a crucial aspect of a game that often gets overlooked. Adding one of the best punters in the country will show up toward the end of the season when the Trojans are fighting for a playoff spot.
The commitment of Eddie Czaplicki is a major addition to USC Football.
The former three-star prospect (247Sports), Eddie Czaplicki, will single-handedly elevate the special teams component for USC Football. His accuracy, IQ, and athleticism are all attributes Riley could utilize within his game plan. Additionally, Czaplicki's first two seasons for Arizona State were phenomenal.
Throughout his sophomore season, Czaplicki's punting abilities sent a message to the rest of the nation. Not only did he have 15 punts land inside the 20-yard line, but Czaplicki also averaged 46.1 yards on 49 total punts. These numbers display why he was ranked as the best punter in all of the Pac-12.
Moreover, Czaplicki is also in the best position to further his football career. As the Trojans are looking to make another attempt at the playoffs, Czaplicki's contributions will shine under the spotlight. This will allow him to establish himself for the NFL Draft and give Riley a much-needed boost on special teams.