George Farmer, ready to go

August, 14, 2012
8/14/12
7:42
PM PT
Robert Woods went first and came up empty, sprinting 40 or 50 yards but missing out on a deep ball from coach Tee Martin by a foot or two.

Marqise Lee was next and missed by about the same amount, squawking loudly when he realized he wouldn't get to it.

Then George Farmer, the talented but injury-plagued sophomore, followed in the go-route drill the Trojans receivers were running after Tuesday's practice. He gave it an all-out sprint and actually outran Martin's throw before stopping and coming back to grab it in the end zone.

Still breathing heavily a couple of minutes later, Farmer pronounced himself 100 percent healthy from the hamstring injury that's bothered him the last five months.

"I feel good," Farmer said. "I feel like I'm ready to go."

The go route was the first time Farmer had successfully went all out in a drill since the first day of spring practice in March, he said. In that span, he's fallen way behind fourth-year man De'Von Flournoy for the third receiver spot, according to Trojans coach Lane Kiffin.

Farmer is fully aware.

"I have a lot of ground to make up," he said Tuesday. "It starts by staying in the training room, staying healthy, showing the coaches that I'm out here to play and I've been working hard for it."

When healthy in the latter half of last season, Farmer occasionally displayed flashes of game-breaking ability but wasn't on the field for a long enough stretch to do anything with it. And he hasn't been for any period of time since then, either.

But he and his teammates say that stretch should be starting right now, because of the prep work Farmer continued to put in while he was off the field.

"The thing about George is, even though he was out, he still paid attention to all the things he needed to pay attention to," Lee, his high school teammate, said Tuesday. "In meetings, he still paid attention so he could come out here and do what he has to do.

"So now that he's out here, he can focus on what he needs to do. The injury is a minor setback and I think he's good to go now."

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