November 12, 2008

2010 Spolight: Receivers

It's well known amongst Trojans fans that Pete Carroll has somewhat of an affinity for signing wide receivers.

In fact on occasion, Carroll has expressed his view that wideouts tend to be the most athletic players on the team, and thus provide more flexibility to a roster of limited scholarships. It's a strategy that makes sense, given the value USC's coaching staff has always placed on versatility, not to mention an increasing use of three-and-four wide receiver sets.

For the 2009 class, USC has received verbal commitments from Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral five-star receiver Randall Carroll, St. Matthews (S.C.) Calhoun County four-star receiver Alshon Jeffrey, and Van Nuys (Calif.) Birmingham four-star receiver De'Von Flournoy.

Only Flournoy's commitment is considered solid, while both Carroll and Jeffrey are currently labeled as soft verbals. There is no certainty that Carroll and Jeffrey's commitments will hold, but USC is projected to sign three wideouts in this class. And with the graduation of the Trojans leading receiver, Patrick Turner, the competition for catches next year could stretch nine or 10 deep.

With that kind of depth at the position, coupled with only one projected senior in Vidal Hazelton, the USC will be focusing on just one or two wideouts in the upcoming 2010 class. And the roster isn't the only factor to consider when making that call. As we pointed out in the previous spotlight feature, looking ahead to future classes is vital, and there are already several elite-level sophomore receivers in Southern California that have emerged as USC targets for the future.

The Trojans may not allocate many scholarship offers for the wide receiver position in 2010, but Gardena (Calif.) Serra junior Robert Woods doesn't have to worry about that. Woods, who recently made Rivals' five-star candidates watch list for 2010, is not just the best junior receiver in the state, he's arguably the best receiver in the state right now.

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