Weakest offensive position group for USC football still sees Watch List nomination

Malcolm Epps, USC Football, USC Trojans
Malcolm Epps, USC Football, USC Trojans / James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

When most college football analyst talk about the USC Trojans' prospects on offense for 2022, they usually talk about every position group on offense except for the tight end room. It's not a crime--USC has an elite QB in Caleb Williams, an elite RB in Travis Dye, an elite WR in Jordan Addison, and an elite LT/LG in Andrew Vorhees.

They've already had their QB end up on two Watch Lists, two RBs end up on a watch list (Dye and Austin Jones), their WR1 end up on two watch lists (Addison), and their center end up on a watch list (Brett Neilon).

Next to be named on a watch list would likely be expected to be Vorhees, or maybe DT Tuli Tuipulotu, right? Wrong. Malcolm Epps has been named to the John Mackey Award Watch List, an award given to the most outstanding collegiate tight end. They see Epps as someone who is competing for their award.

Malcolm Epps is banking on a major bounce-back for USC football if he wants to win the John Mackey Award.

That's because Malcolm Epps only had 10 catches for 173 receiving yards and one touchdown last season for USC football. In fairness, it was his first year playing with the Trojans, but continuity didn't seem to pay big dividends for him when he was at Texas.

He was with the Longhorns for three years, and his best season saw him post 20 catches for 232 yards and two scores. Again, however, it's only fair to bring up the reality that Epps has had poor coaching his entire collegiate career.

He went from dealing with Tom Herman for three years, to a year with USC where the head coach was fired two games into the year and the season lost with the disappointing Graham Harrell as the Offensive Coordinator. It was going to be very tough for Epps to produce.

Many expect Lake McRee to be the starting tight end for USC this year, but this watch list nomination begs the question of whether fans and media might be sleeping on Epps, who now will finally be coached well.

Ranking Caleb Williams among Pac-12 QBs. dark. Next

Betting on the No. 10 tight end recruit in the 2018 class (247Sports) to play well when finally exposed to real coaching at the college level may not be so bad a bet after all. Epps, a former four-star recruit, will look to prove his worth playing under the best offensive schemer in college football in 2022.