If USC football has a Heisman hopeful, it should be Drake London.
On Tuesday night, Alabama's DeVonta Smith became the first wide receiver to win the Heisman Trophy this century. He did it with extraordinary production and a plethora of huge plays for the Crimson Tide.
If Smith can do it, why not USC football's Drake London?
Trojan quarterback Kedon Slovis is among the odds on favorites to contend for the 2021 Heisman Trophy, as is typical for a returning and productive USC quarterback.
If USC is any good this coming season, Slovis will definitely attract plenty of national attention. As he should. Even so, the human highlight reel that is London still deserved to be talked about.
Drake London is USC football's most exciting weapon.
If you watched each of USC's 2020 contests, you already know what a jaw-dropping athlete London is. He's a 6-foot-5, 210-pound mismatch nightmare.
Better yet, he plays the receiver position with the aggression of a defender. JuJu Smith-Schuster and some of USC's best receivers in recent memory also brought that kind of mindset to the table, but they weren't built like the tight end London could be.
No touch is wasted when London is involved. And what he does with the ball in his hand is magnificent. He's not Adoree' Jackson gliding through the defense like he's running on air. He's a bulldozer, dropping his shoulder and running through defenders like he's Jerome Bettis.
No one would ever accuse London of lacking memorable moments. If this isn't a Heisman-level highlight then what is?
What about an epic fourth-down catch to give USC victory at the death? He's got that in his locker too.
His highlights are immense even when he doesn't find the endzone.
Is London capable of putting up numbers like Smith for Alabama? There are a lot of moving parts in any offense and success depends on all of those pieces doing their job. USC's offensive line certainly isn't on the level of Alabama's which provides a platform for quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs to succeed. Don't count London out though.
In 2020, London's average per catch was just a few tenths off Smith's. Across a 12-game season, he would have had over 1,000 yards on less than 70 catches. It's not a stretch to imagine more opportunities will come his way in 2021 with Amon-Ra St. Brown and Tyler Vaughns off to the NFL If Lane Kiffin was running the Trojan offense, you could bet on 100 receptions and 1,500 yards for a threat like London.
Obviously, the hurdles for London to even compete for the Heisman are immense. USC isn't in the national conversation consistently enough. The Pac-12 isn't taken seriously. He's not a quarterback. Start the campaign anyway. He deserves it.